Sign Language … With A Twist !

By Marwa Harb |

Being a son of deaf parents is not amazing, it is super amazing. It helps you see the world from a different perspective, it encourages you to face life obstacles in all its phases, it gives you a lot of power and strength, Marwan quoted.

Marwan Al Hasbini is a Lebanese guy, who introduced the sign language in a twisted way. He took advantage of home quarantine and taught this language on TikTok. Cause what’s better than learning a new language in an amusing and catchy way?!

This journey started when he posted a video singing Albe Ya Albe song for Nancy Ajram, in sign language, and it got a lot of positive feedback.

 

Childhood Memories:

Marwan learned the language from his parents since he was a baby, he always used signs when he wants to eat, drink or, even go out. He didn’t face any obstacles communicating with his parents, since they all communicate with each other in sign language.

Then he learned to talk from his aunt and his grandmother, after that he went to a nursery, in that way he could communicate through words and signs.

He never pathetically looked at his parents, or let anyone say anything wrong to them. Marwan talked about an incident that happened with him at school when he was younger; “there was a family meeting at school, and I told my teacher that my parents can’t talk, she replied that am a liar, minutes later she called me to come and translate what my parents are saying.” This incident determined me to be the voice for the voiceless.

marwan and his parents

Marwan’s Parents: Signs of Love and Sacrifice

His mom got deaf at 4 years old, after suffering from a high fever. His dad also was born deaf, but he can speak in a heavy way, since his mother(Marwan’s grandmother) took a lot of medicines when she was pregnant with him.

His parents are living a normal life, his mother has the 6th sense, she knows if Marwan is happy or sad, or if he is tired. His father is brilliant in math.

They can communicate easily with others since his dad is a working man holding  a Brevet certificate, so his colleagues and neighbors understand what he is saying.

 

The Journey on TikTok:

His friend (Nagham Ghazal) encouraged him to start publishing sign language videos on Tiktok, once he did, he got a lot of positive feedback and a lot of shares.

Then he started live shows on the same platform and asked people what they want to know, some want to know names, country names, food, and many more.

Sometimes, he does some trivia questions with his friends and they wait for people to answer. In that way, he encourages people to communicate and dive into sign language.

He mostly posts several times a week, he translates letters, names, phrases to sign language. For example, now it is back to school season, he tells us how to spell class, school … in a sign style.

The next step for Marwan is to learn the ASL -American Sign Language- complete, natural language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages, with grammar that differs from English. It varies from one country to another, just like any language.

A Little Hope:

Marwan’s message of learning the sign language, also teaching it, is to help people who have talking disability in communicating as well as to give them help when they need it, for example, if they are driving and their car stopped and they asked for help, people can’t response, since they don’t know this language. But once we raise awareness and spread the basics of the sign language, we can help, since in the end we are all one, and we are all the same.

 

Centers that teach Sign Language:

When Marwan was younger, he taught sign language in certain academies, but due to hectic time between work and university, he stopped.

But there is a lot of centers that offer this kind of language like LCD in Baabda, UNICEF and American University in Beirut, or you can follow Marwan on Tiktok and learn it in a freebie, entertaining, and accessible way.