Tamakkan hosted a screening of the Documentary Film Lemonade produced by US born Emirati author and speaker, Dedra L. Stevenson, on home schooling an adult with Autism. The movie is directed by Emirati, Sara Al Hashemi, titled after the famous English phrase: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. It follows the daily life and struggles of Dedra’s son, Ibrahim, a 23-year old adult living with Autism.
The movie screening was also an awareness event on the life of people living with Autism here in the UAE, and how even those with a disability can be given a purpose in life that gives them happiness and meaning. The session was attended by family members of Ibrahim, various film personalities, guests who have an autistic relative, and fellow community members who were there to support the cause. It was heart-warming to see Ibrahim’s family there to support him and to bravely share their experience of overcoming their struggles.
Tamakkan founder Sana Bagersh found the documentary film very interesting as it tackled the plight and relationship of a mother and her son with autism. “Film-making is a very powerful tool that can be used to entertain and also to educate. Dedra’s film captured my heart as it showcased a sensitive yet crucial topic that needs to be addressed here in the UAE.”
The movie screening was followed by a Q&A session where Dedra L. Stevenson, the executive producer, along with the Director Sara Al Hashemi, Creative Director Sheikha Bin Jarsh, and Ibrahim’s nurses, Arden Kristoffer Onayan and Mark Vincent Salazar. They answered questions on what the struggles were in their life to come to where they are now, what more could be done to help other families in similar situations, and how people could help in making such families feel welcome and at ease in public spaces.
When asked why she waited this long to show this story, Dedra Stevenson, said it was something that had been in the back of her mind for a while but it was brought out when Ibrahim’s former nurse Kaleb Habtamu, told her about a boy he met in the Al Thiqa Club. “These guys need a reason to wake up every morning just like all of us do. We go to jobs, we go to schools, we go to exercise, and all that so what about them? They need purpose”, said Dedra.
Tamakkan is an initiative aimed at nurturing entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation. Established in June 2009 by BrandMoxie, a leading advertising and marketing company in the UAE, Tamakkan support s the growth of SMEs and startups by providing access to information and networking, as well as promoting innovation, best practices and corporate social responsibility to corporations and institutions. The initiative has steadily grown into a powerful knowledge sharing and training platform that has contributed to the development of the local economy. www.tamakkan.com