Listening in

By Zubeida Mustafa

THEY were women from three generations, their ages ranging from twelve months to fifty odd years. As they met in the office of Dr Tahira Aleem, the audiologist at the Ida Rieu Centre for the Deaf and Blind, I could see that the infant girl’s future hinged on that crucial session. She was profoundly hearing impaired and since she had never heard any sounds since birth she could not speak either. As she snuggled in her mother’s lap, with an endearing expression in her eyes and quite oblivious to her  surroundings, the infant appeared to be at peace in her own world of silence. But how long would this peace last? Without the capacity to communicate, she would grow up severely handicapped in her shell of utter isolation. Continue reading “Listening in”

Their voices heard

By Zubeida Mustafa

IT IS located in the heart of Karachi in one of the noisiest and  most congested downtown areas near the Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum at what was Purani Numaish. Once you enter the gates of Ida Rieu School for the Deaf and Blind you are in a different world altogether. It is spacious, quiet and reasonably green. Continue reading “Their voices heard”

Always on the road

By Zubeida Mustafa

MUNIRA GULZAR wanted to be a nurse when she passed out of school. Instead she became a teacher and has loved every minute of it. Those were the times in the early fifties when most girls did not dream of a career. But to young Munira it was inconceivable that she should not work. So even before she had completed her education she started teaching in a school. Since her family was very conservative, there was so much opposition to her taking up a job. But determined as she was, she managed to persuade her father to let her work. Continue reading “Always on the road”