Dubai: Saudi citizen and researcher Bader Al Omari has become the first deaf person to obtain a master’s degree in teaching sign language both locally and in the Arab world.
Born deaf, Al Omari learned Saudi sign language but faced challenges in completing his university studies. He was accepted into the Department of Linguistics at Gallaudet University in the US through an external scholarship programme. There, he achieved his master’s degree, specialising in the education of the deaf.
Al Omari’s passion for sign language led him to establish a unique path to share his knowledge with others in the deaf community.
Noting the variations in sign language across different regions, Al Omari proposed a university project to compile sign language dictionaries and terminologies. This led to the formation of a committee to create the Saudi sign language dictionary.
With the generous support of the Princess Al Anoud Charitable Foundation, the sign language dictionary was published and distributed free of charge for the benefit of all.
The monumental initiative awarded Al Omari the prestigious King Khalid Award.
At a ceremony, he received the award from King Salman bin Abdulaziz. Al Omari’s pioneering project, the “Indicative Dictionary”, won first place in the King Khalid Award’s Development Partners Branch.