My name is Ayah. I was born and raised in Australia and I come from a Lebanese-Muslim background. I also have a hearing impairment.
Growing up, I faced many challenges due to both my ethnicity and hearing loss. Until one day I realized, I do not need to fit anywhere. My identity is just that: an Australian, Lebanese-Muslim woman with a hearing loss.
My journey of self-
I recently graduated from the University of New South Wales with a degree in Social Research and Policy. I completed my
I first created the Silent Signs Facebook page
Now I am expanding and with the amazing assistance from Houssam Bizri, created this website as a platform for anyone who wants to read my personal Blogs or find our more about my Cochlear Implant Journey, Research, Religion or Events.
Yesterday was my graduation. My second graduation, for my honours I completed last year. It was the most challenging and rewarding year for me. It was challenging because I really struggled with my complex identities of being the only hijab wearing Muslim, with...
I was invited to write a Guest Blog for a Research Blog called Language on the Move. I spoke about my research topic and experiences. Check it out: http://www.languageonthemove.com/silent-invisible-women/
Why Silent Signs?
The term ‘Silent Signs’ crossed my mind from reflecting about an encounter that happened to me. While I do not claim ownership of this name, Silent Signs can mean many things. But being hard of hearing or Deaf is a silent struggle with silent signs. This is the
“How do you feel about being the only hearing-impaired in your family?”
Before I could answer, before I could stop myself from laughing at the absurdity of such a question, to my amusement I replied with one word: “lonely”.
It’s not the question that has engrossed my mind, it is my response that has baffled me. Surprised me. Not because it’s the first time this question has been posed, but because my reply is one that exposed me.
How can I be lonely? I come from a large family, I have many friends and heck I’m Middle Eastern, a lot of cousins! I’m friendly and I’m loved. I’m social and I’m blessed. And my family are soo supporting, loving and encouraging.
So why did I say “lonely?”
Why did I blurt it out before even blinking.
It was like the words uttered from my mouth without thinking.
From then, I took it as a sign that something deeper is eminent.
There are things so hidden, they’re prominent.
Signs have many different meanings.
Heavenly signs, sign language, road signs.
Some signs are visible, vivid.
Some signs are symbolic, others literal.
Some signs indicate a certain path you might take, or signal laws to obey.
But some signs are silent.
So silent that sometimes you may miss them.
So silent that their sudden awareness opens up infinite mysteries and possibilities; things about you, yourself, the world, that you never knew existed.
And those signs may just be the most powerful signs of all.
I am hearing-impaired and blessed to be so. Being deaf or hard of hearing is a silent battle with silent signs. I always say that it’s a blessing and a curse.
While my hearing-loss poses limitations, it has given me a unique perspective about the world.
I’ve created this page to share some of my stories, thoughts and the silent signs I’ve experienced. Writing has become an outlet for me to explore, vent and express my thoughts and feelings.
It took me a long time to finally make a page because what I will share are personal. And I do not want to seem up myself. But then I figure, what if other people are feeling the same? What if other people are suffering their own silent battles or have silent signs pass them by?
I only wish to share and inspire. Enjoy