Experience ‘blindness’ in “Dine in the Dark Restaurant” in Riyadh

Earlier this week, one of the biggest events was the inauguration of a unique restaurant that gives its diners the experience of how it feels to be blind. This is the first and only restaurant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that follows over its initiative to help the visually impaired. This restaurant is situated in the Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh. The restaurant gives its customers to dine in the dark and is run by waiters who are blind. The inauguration was done by the president of the Saudi National Committee on Preventing Blindness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad bin Abdulaziz. The event was attended by a number of highly reputable people of the Kingdom.[irp]

Prince Abdulaziz told the press how the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by the trainees and workers were much higher than what he had expected. He also said, that this initiative would prove to be successful and would become a milestone in the long road of more initiatives to help support and commend the visually impaired as capable citizens just as the rest, rather than handicapped. While the restaurant was being set up, there were training workshops conducted by a restaurant staff called in from Paris to the Saudi Capital. As part of the training, visually impaired men and women were taught and trained how they must meet and greet the guests and accordingly how shall they be seated.

After speaking to a few writers of the dine-in-the-dark restaurant, they extended their thanks to the Saudi National Committee on Preventing Blindness for turning such a plan into reality, giving people like them the chance to show the world what they can really do. A waitress, Faten al-Otaibi said that those who go through the experience of being blind should be convinced that their life doesn’t stop after losing their sight. All they need is a chance and if that is given to them, they too can show their capabilities that are not bound by their disabilities.

Similarly, another waiter Amjad al-Otaibi said that all people like them need is an opportunity that would help prove their worth. With the right opportunity, they can display their strengths.  The experience was unique but was enjoyable by the Diners. After the event, a few diners took out the time to tell us about their first experience at the restaurant. A diner, Abdulhakeem talked about his experience which gave him the chance to see things more clearly. He applauded the waiters for using all their senses while we just believe over the experience that we see.[irp]

Another attendee and comedian, Fahad al-Butairi said that this was a beautiful initiative and it was a unique and terrifying all the at the same time for the first five minutes. After that, we grasp quickly how to use all our senses just as those who face this disability.

Source: Al Arabiya