Ali Al-Hazani, Saudi sign language interpreter

Ali Al-Hazani, Saudi sign language interpreter
Ali Al-Hazani
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Updated 04 April 2020

Ali Al-Hazani, Saudi sign language interpreter

Ali Al-Hazani, Saudi sign language interpreter

Ali Al-Hazani has been a sign language interpreter for more than 20 years. He is currently taking part in Saudi Arabia’s daily COVID-19 press briefings, helping to communicate the latest developments and updates on the pandemic from ministerial officials to the Kingdom’s estimated 720,000 deaf and hearing-impaired citizens.

“Since the Ministry of Health began its intensive awareness campaign before registering any case (of COVID-19) in the Kingdom, it contacted me to share awareness video clips in sign language,” Al-Hazani said.

“After the launch of the press conference, the ministry asked me to participate in the simultaneous interpretation on stage, instead of a small screen, which is an unprecedented civilized and humanitarian step that I do not think any country in the Middle East has done before.

“For the community with hearing impairment, when the interpreter appears on the screen this way, it means that the matter is extremely important and must be heard until the end, and therefore its outcomes were significant,” he added.

Al-Hazani aims to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the daily briefings in order to familiarize himself with the latest content.

He gained a bachelor’s degree with honors in education for people with hearing impairment from King Saud University and a master’s degree in communication techniques and worked as a teacher, and later lecturer, at Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University.

Prior to that, he was employed to interpret news and conferences for Al-Ekhbariya channel and was an active member of the Saudi Association for Hearing Impairment until becoming its president for four years, during which time the association witnessed remarkable development.