WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International Spy Museum today announced that it will host a virtual event on Sunday, December 13th for autistic people and their families. Due to COVID-19, this virtual experience replaces the annual, in-person Access to SPY event and is made possible by a grant from The Embassy of the State of Qatar in the United States.
Families are invited to exclusively participate in virtual workshops and programs provided by the International Spy Museum. This open house-style event will be held on Zoom and will last from 10:00 AM - 01:30 PM EST. This free, virtual event will feature 4 sessions:
- Ninja Workout: Learn Ninja moves from martial arts expert, Viran Ranasinghe of Kaizen Karate that are inspired by the ancient Japanese spies.
- Spy Skills Workshop: In this skill-based workshop, interactive challenges with real-world stories will be woven together to reveal the shadow-world of espionage.
- The Magic of Spying: Professional magician Peter Wood will demonstrate the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, and other illusions used by skilled spies.
- Spy’s Eye View: An opportunity to meet former “spy” and CIA operative, Melissa Boyle Mahle, who worked for the CIA for many years in the Middle East and will tell stories and reveal the shadow world of spying.
Commenting on the event announcement, Jacqueline Eyl, Director of Youth Education, International Spy Museum said: “We know the Spy Museum has the power to engage, inspire and enlighten, and it’s in that spirit that we offer our signature Access to SPY event to autistic individuals and their families virtually this year. Opportunities for families to have fun is something this community desperately needs right now. By bringing our unique interactive workshops and programs directly to living rooms across the country and the globe, our hope is that families will laugh, learn and discover the shadow world of spying together.”
“The people of Qatar have a long standing history of supporting children on the autism spectrum. It is a cause that is close to our hearts,” said Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States, Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani. “As long-standing partners of the United States, we are delighted to support the International Spy Museum’s initiative to provide joy and excitement to families with autistic children during these challenging times.”
Families who wish to attend this virtual event can register through this link. Registration is limited. Participants will receive a link to a private, password–protected Zoom room and can attend as many programs as they wish throughout the event. Families should only sign up once per household. In addition, up to 25 students from the Renad Academy in Doha will be able to participate in the program, making this a truly multicultural experience.
This event, which launched in 2016, is part of a series of education programs at the International Spy Museum called Access to SPY. The Access to SPY series offers exclusive programs with enhanced accessibility for various audiences, including those with disabilities, individuals on the autism spectrum, underserved students, individuals with dementia and their care partners, and hospitalized children living with a life-threatening illness. These programs address community needs locally, nationally and around the globe.
Qatar is a major supporter of autism awareness. It was a leading force in establishing World Autism Awareness Day, when Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned of Qatar first proposed this day of recognition to the United Nations in 2007. The Embassy and State of Qatar deeply believe in expanding access across a variety of arenas for people with autism; in the job market, education, and leisure. This is the first year that Qatar will sponsor the event, as the Embassy continues to find and support innovative ways to make a more inclusive and accessible world for all of those on the spectrum.
Qatar has a longstanding history of philanthropic and cultural engagement with the United States. 2021 will officially be the “U.S.-Qatar Year of Culture” The “Year of Culture” will be a year-long agreement where both countries will engage in a variety of cultural exchange programs. The program aims to convey Qatar to an international audience and bring the diverse cultures of the world to Qatar. The “Year of Culture” is executed through various exhibitions, festivals, competitions, and events that increase mutual understanding and appreciation between the respective nations – inviting people to explore their cultural similarities and differences.
About the International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity, is the only public museum in the United States to lift the veil on the tradecraft, history, and contemporary role of espionage and intelligence from a global perspective. The mission of the International Spy Museum is to educate the public about espionage and intelligence in an engaging way and to provide a context that fosters understanding of their important role and impact on current and historic events. The Museum's collection chronicles the history of espionage, from its inception, to the modern-day challenges facing intelligence professionals worldwide in the 21st Century. The original Spy Museum opened in 2002. Its new, expanded building and all-new exhibitions opened in May 2019 to much acclaim.
About the Embassy of Qatar to the United States
The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, D.C. houses Qatar's diplomatic mission to the United States. The primary purposes of the Embassy of the State of Qatar are to highlight Qatar’s policies on regional issues, strengthen Qatar-U.S. bilateral relations and to assist Qatari citizens who travel or live in the U.S. The current Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States of America is His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani.
About Renad Academy
Renad Academy is a school that helps children with autism. It provides education and specialized services to students, and training and support to parents. The school presently serves students aged 3 to 10, but each successive year, it will add a grade level until students of all ages can be served.