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Rabat restaurant challenges exclusion of mentally disabled

– In a country where nearly half of people with mental disabilities are unemployed, one restaurant in the Moroccan capital is part of a pilot project tackling the problem.

When a customer enters the Hadaf restaurant in the capital s business district, nothing indicates that many of the staff are disabled in any way.

Take Amr, an enthusiastic 28-year-old in a crisp white shirt and black trousers.

He scouts the street for prospective clients as front of house staff add vases as the finishing touches to tables.

“I first learnt in the canteen,” Amr said.

“Now I take orders from customers in the restaurant — I like the contact with them, getting to know each other,” he added.

The experiment was launched by a local association created by parents to shake up prejudices and serve as a springboard for young people with mental disabilities.

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