The third GCC Theatrical Festival for the Handicapped opened today at the Cultural Hall under the patronage of Deputy Premier Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa. The festival patron expressed his delight at patronizing the opening ceremony, stressing the importance of the event which sheds light on this social category. He affirmed the keenness of the Government, led by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa on people with disabilities. He pointed out the Government’s efforts to ensure physical disabilities does not hamper creativity and innovation, stressing in this regard educational and training opportunities available for the handicapped to integrate all sectors of the labour market. The Deputy Premier described the GCC festival as an opportunity to showcase successful theatrical works and promote the inclusive culture which engages people with disabilities and eases up their social integration. He stressed the importance of the programmes and projects initiated by the Social Development Ministry as well as efforts to ensure the success of the 3rd GCC Theatrical Festival for the Handicapped. Social Development Minister Dr. Fatima Mohammed Al-Balooshi thanked Deputy Premier Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa for patronizing the opening ceremony. She paid tribute to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister for their keenness on these vulnerable categories which in dire need for social care. The festival which runs until December 10, highlights key issues relation to the protection of the disabled’s rights as stipulated in international human rights treaties and covenants. The organisers have lineup six plays, on the basis of one theatrical show for each of the six GCC member states, in addition to Yemen which is also taking part in the festival. A plenary discussion bringing together journalists and theater savvies will also be held at the Arts Centre, near the Cultural.