The Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques reserved the mataf (circumambulation area around the Holy Kaaba) for two hours for the faithful with special needs on Monday.

This was to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which falls on Dec. 3.

Mashour Al-Monaami, undersecretary at the presidency, said this shows the Presidency’s keenness to take special care of this segment of society as well as to shed light on their rights.

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly. It aims to promote the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The theme for this is: “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

This year’s theme focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable


Saudi Arabia has promulgated legislations and takes special care of people with disabilities.

The Ministry of Education runs several organizations to help people with disabilities. These include the Noor Institute for the Blind, the Amal Institute for the Deaf and the Institute for the Intellectually Disabled. Other organizations are run by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. The Ministry of Health provides health services to most people in Saudi Arabia.

People with disabilities in Saudi Arabia are entitled to 50% off airfare for themselves and a companion. They have the right to education, equal work and access to public space. People with disabilities are entitled to handicapped parking spaces and a subsidy of SR 10,000 to convert cars for specifications relating to their disability. Social security is available to individuals with disabilities or who become disabled later in life.

The King Salman Centre for Disability Research, Disabled Children Association and the Joint Center for Research in Prosthetics and Orthotics and Rehabilitation Programs are non-governmental organizations operating in Saudi Arabia to help people with disabilities.
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