Farah Al Qaissieh raising awareness creating a community of support and acceptance.
Farah Al Qaissieh started her career at Mubadala in 2011and is currently a member of the Emiratization team.
In 2013, Farah Al Qaissieh alongside her colleague Faisal Al Hammadi founded Stutter UAE – the UAE’s first stutter support group.
Stutter UAE offers mentorship programs and consultations with speech therapists, and most importantly forms a community for other people with stutters to meet.
This not-for-profit organization raises awareness of stuttering and aims to reduce the stigma attached to it.
Most recently, Farah’s initiative, Stutter UAE, has been the focus of a short film showcased at the short film corner of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
Q1. What was the inspiration for creating Stutter UAE?
As a child growing up with a stutter, I was bullied in school and this frustrated me very much. I guess this really inspired me to want to do something to raising awareness and help others. In addition, having a younger brother who also stuttered definitely helped!
Q2. What has been the biggest challenge growing up with a stutter?
The biggest challenge was not being able to fully express myself the way I wanted to, because every time I did, I would hear a comment about how ‘I do not know how to speak’.
Q3. As a young Emirati woman, how are you inspiring the local community to participate in your events?
The events Stutter UAE host or participate in always revolve around community engagement or collaboration. We make sure to have different ways people can participate and play a role in the change, whether it is through volunteering during or attending the events. The purpose of Stutter UAE is to involve people who stutter in the community by being open to attending events with their friends and families – regardless of whether they stutter or not.
Q4. How are you using technology to reach the younger generation of stammers in the UAE?
We always try to have presence in different social media platforms to engage as many audiences as possible. We usually have Snapchat sessions where we share knowledge and debunk some myths around stuttering. Without technology, we would not be able to reach our vision.
Q5. Who are the women that inspire you, and why?
I have crossed paths with so many inspiring women over the years; it will be difficult to pick just one. However, the reasons they inspired me is that they have added pieces to the puzzle that is shaping the vision I wanted for my life.
Q6. Earlier this year “Just Another Accent” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival; can you tell us a bit about that? Why was this such a significant platform for this story but also for the UAE?
The world - including the people who stutter - view stuttering as a speech impediment, that is hindering their lives and preventing them from achieving their life goals; “Just Another Accent” touches on, aspects of stuttering and other element that make us different, which affect our self-esteem and wellbeing, and turning that into a strength rather an a hurdle. At Stutter UAE, we look at stuttering as an accent, something we should embrace and be proud to have. People come from different backgrounds with different accents, stuttering should not be viewed any differently.
Premiering an Emirati movie at the world’s largest Film Festival, is a huge testimony for the importance of awareness around stuttering and the wonderful support from our leadership.
Q7. Where can people go to get more information on Stutter UAE? What are some of the events and activities you have planned in the coming months?
People can always find us on our social media platforms (@StutterUAE). We recently co-hosted an event in Ramadan around community engagement and we are currently planning for our next big event sometime later in the year, October or early November in line with the International Stuttering Awareness Day.
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“I know for sure that they are proud, proud that their mom is doing something for the country, for herself”
Executive Administrative Officer,Enterprise Technology and Services