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History of the

Ismaani Center

When was it established

When their daughter was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss in 1999, Talal Bahrani and his wife, Sawsan Sarraf, decided to establish the Ismaani Center.

They wished to provide other families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing with the benefits they experienced with their daughter. The Ismaani Center was established in 2004, and enjoys the financial support of the Bahrani Group of companies, family members, and friends. The Center's work is overseen by a board of directors.

Over the years, the center has grown to provide service to over 100 families each year. At the Ismaani center, children with all levels of hearing loss are learning to listen and use spoken language to communicate with their family members, friends and community.

We believe all Kids can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.

In Sawsan’s words

“God has blessed us with a great many things. One of these is our sense of hearing. Through our own personal experience with one of our daughters, who we learned at an early age was hearing-impaired, we re-discovered the importance of this blessing – for without hearing, a child cannot learn to speak. When we look back we realize that our Journey let us meet many great people, some of whom had hearing-impaired children, and some of whom had devoted a large part of their lives to help and support hearing-impaired children and their families. Amazingly, we found that with proper training and support, hearing-impaired children can learn to hear, learn to speak, and become normal, integrated, children, who can cope and thrive in regular schools and in society at large. Because of our experience, and the joys that it brought, we decided that we had to try to bring the same joy to other children living in our country of origin, Iraq, which has suffered through so much hardship over the years.

Our Mission

Our Mission

The Ismaani center's mission is to help children who are deaf or hard of hearing to develop their ability to listen, use spoken language, achieve their full potential and become independent adults

  • provide support and information to families of children with hearing loss.

  • guide parents in developing the skills they need to help their children learn to listen and speak.

  • provide immediate listening and spoken language intervention to children with hearing loss.

  • encourage the diagnosis of hearing loss as early as possible so as to limit  language delays and the psychological effects on the child’s life, his future and position in society.

  • facilitate the child's integration into his family and community.

  • allow for the child’s gradual inclusion into a regular school with appropriate school age peers.

Our Staff

It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

At the Ismaani center, a select group of specialists, with many years of experience in diverse but related fields, are at hand to provide a full complement of expertise to children with hearing loss and their families. The staffs’ specialized attention and understanding provide the support families need through their journey with their child who has a hearing impairment.

The Ismaani center utilizes the well established Auditory-Verbal (AV) Therapy Practice which helps children with hearing loss to learn to listen and speak.  AV Practice is being used successfully in many places around the world, including Europe, Australia, the UK, Canada, and the United States, to help children with hearing loss to achieve spoken language proficiency.

Ismaani staff continually updates their training and skills, both at the center and outside the country, on current intervention strategies that encourage children with hearing loss to develop spoken language. As the security situation in Iraq improves, we plan to work on and complete the process of training our staff in this very important method.


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Mrs. Sawsan Sarraf

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Mrs. Zina Rashid Abdulla


The center is managed by an educational supervisor who is a specialist in the field of special needs care and rehabilitation, with more than thirty years of experience inside and outside the country. The focus of management is to:

 Meet with each family and ascertain the special needs of each child

Collaborate with staff to develop an individualized intervention plan for the year

Assist and educate families in acquiring medical, audiological & educational supports available in the community

Develop the center’s work by supporting the professional development and skills of staff members

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