El bassar is a Scotland based voluntary arts initiative involving visual artists Melissa MacRobert and Miriam Walsh and landscape architect Ronald Boer. This initiative has being set up to develop a sensory garden for visually impaired children at Al Shurooq School for Blind Children, Beit Jala, Palestine. This project is being run in Association with Al Shurooq School and Oyooni Mobile Eye Clinic and will take place this July 2009.
Each with a specific discipline, in Fine Arts, Video and Landscape Architecture they shall pull their creative energies together to develop a sensory garden within the grounds of the newly purpose-built school. Doris Saba, the director of Al-Shurooq, has invited Melissa, Miriam and Ronald to run summer workshops for the children. They plan to use these both as the inspiration for the development of the sensory garden and also to involve the children directly in this process.
In conjunction with this, they will aid Dr Ali Dabbagh the founder of Oyooni Mobile Eye Clinic in setting up a sub-unit within the school itself, establishing a Low Visual Aid & Diagnostic Clinic.
The artists visited the Low Visual Aid pediatric clinic at the Forth Valley Sensory Centre in Camelon, Scotland earlier this year. There they met with nurses, social workers, support workers and all working with the visually impaired. Through return visits with the Forth Valley Sensory Centre they will get further practical experience working with the visually impaired.