Due to cousin marriages

High rates of hearing impairment and muteness in Salah al-Din village

SALAH AL-DIN — In Arab Al-Kharsan village, situated in Salah al-Din province’s Balad area, over 25 individuals grapple with hearing impairment and muteness, believed to stem from cousin marriages prevalent in the community.

Hamid Osman, a village resident, shed light on the “recurring pattern of disability” in nearly every household in the village.

He noted that individuals face significant hurdles, including scarce job opportunities which prompting many to resort to strenuous jobs like manual labor and climbing palm trees.

Ali Mahdi, whose family members are affected, shared his personal struggle, revealing that his father’s marriage to two women, one of whom is hearing impaired, has led to complex social ramifications.

Even the village’s name, “Kharsan,” denoting “mute” or “silent”, comes from the pervasive occurrence of disability within the community.

“Half of my family are hearing-impaired and mute,” he lamented. However, Mahdi noted a positive shift in the new generation’s mindset, as they increasingly avoid such marriages to prevent passing these traits to their offspring.

Mohammed Jabar, another villager, underscored the pressing need for intervention in the community.

“We await governmental assistance to support our impoverished families, most of whom lack social welfare salaries,” he said.

Marriage among cousins and relatives is a widespread phenomenon in many parts of Iraq, with nearly half of marriages occurring between first or second cousins.

Tel Afar's Al-Anwar institute welcomes children with special needs

Tel Afar's Al-Anwar institute welcomes children with special needs