The author Kashaf Alvi is Pakistan’s first differently-abled Certified Microsoft Associate, Deaf Book Author, columnist, and short film Script-writer.
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Failing to acknowledge the talents of the deaf community and ignoring their unique competencies is inevitably a huge misfortune. Most Deaf people are not allowed to continue their education with normal students which stops them to tap the avenues of the technological and creative world. Being Deaf and mute by birth, I am used to seeing these differences and grew up confronting the additional challenge to make the world believe in me and my skills. I am scared, that if it continues, the world would surely not be able to get out the most from the exceptional talents of differently-abled folks.
I have always been concerned about these biases and ignorance. However, my conversations with my father urged me to redirect my focus and think about the real purpose of life. As a result, I became an incentive to be aware of the masses to not isolate deaf people from the mainstream world. Instead, develop a sense of empathy and become compassionate to them.
For the acquisition of this goal, I wrote ‘The Language of Paradise to help the Deaf community become empowered and self-reliant. On the other hand, normal people should know someone’s inability to speak or hear doesn’t mean he or she is not able to fulfil his or her dreams or achieve big. Following your dreams only requires passion and determination.
Self-acceptance indeed itself is challenging and it became even more difficult when the world outside is not willing to be kind and empathetic. I mentioned an extract from my life in the book which might help you empathize with deaf people. It says: “When I was a young child, I used to ask my father a great many curious questions. I wondered if sparrows and cats could talk to him – do they talk like humans and what is it that they ask and what do they desire? I got fascinated by everything and cudgelled my brains about the never-ending enigmas I faced every day.”
This is the least a Deaf person is curious about, I was heavenly blessed to have a supportive and compassionate father who taught me wisdom and built selflessness. Else, I would have been imprisoned by the question, “Why me”.
But I am scared of what happens with the Deaf people who don’t have such support systems around. How they fight with a feeling of being abandoned because the inability to speak cuts you from fellow human beings because neither you nor they understand you. Furthermore, I know very well not everyone is acquainted with sign language, and doing lip reading is also not everyone’s cup of tea. On top of it, COVID came and people started wearing masks, making it incredibly difficult for the Deaf world to feel a sense of belonging.
All this made me restless at times but then I found out my purpose in life. I watched the movie ‘The Lion King’ I observed like Simba’s father, my father is also always there to support me. Thereby, I am also here to support, inspire, and empower the people around me. I made a goal before turning 18 that I have to do something to inspire the deaf community so that they may not give up.
Becoming the first differently-abled Certified Microsoft Associate Pakistani motivated me, fostered my hope, and built courage. It strengthens my belief when there is a will there is a way. I started writing a book to inspire the deaf community and make normal people understand what deaf people suffer from. I didn’t know how to write a book and then how to publish it but all I knew was to give back to the Deaf community.
And I am so pleased with gratitude that my first ever written book was completed before my 18th birthday and is going to be in the bookstores from 10th January 2022, published by Liberty Books. Furthermore, I never thought it would get so much recognition and I was honoured to launch this book at the President’s House, Islamabad. First Lady, Ms. Samina Alvi hosted the book release and it was a huge honour for me. I presented my first signed copy to her and brought with me her signed copy as a sovereign from the president’s house.