A conversation with Rama Marom, guide at Dialogue in Silence for 16 years

Dialogue in Silence Israel marks 16 years of activity. Rama moved has been a guide here since it opening. She moved us when she said: "It's a privilege to work here. It's work for the soul."

A picture with a golden frame and a woman in the middle and a 16 with candles

*Note: The following text in its original Hebrew version is the content of the Children's Museum in Holon, Israel, from whom we received permission to reproduce it in its entirety in this medium, and using artificial intelligence for its translation into English. The Hebrew version is available at this link. (Facebook)


What was the reason that brought you to guide at DiS?

The truth is, it was accidental. I worked for many years in the field of graphics. Since my daughter was young, I was looking for a job with flexible hours. I saw an online ad that said the children's museum was opening an activity tailored for deaf guides. Despite my stage fright and timid nature, I applied and, surprisingly, got the job. And here I am.

Do you remember your first tour? Or is there a significant memory from another guided tour?

I remember the first pilot tour vividly. We had two instructors guiding the group. I was nervous, sweating, and flushed red from stress. Then I noticed that people were laughing and enjoying themselves. That helped me relax and realize that it wasn't so bad.

Beyond that, in the dialogue room (the exhibition's final room), some people confess, "My child can't hear. What do we do?" Sometimes people even cry. Others mention that their hearing is deteriorating and they don't know how to cope. It's brave to open up like that. I recall guiding a couple who said they had a deaf baby and didn't know what being deaf meant.

Whom do you dream of guiding?

Some associations oppose sign language, denying the identity of deaf individuals. I want representatives from these groups to come here for a tour. In the Ministry of Health, the definition of "deaf" is synonymous with "mute." Moreover, their only recommendation for a newly born deaf child is a cochlear implant, as if it's a magical cure. It doesn't always work in practice. I wish to guide senior officials from the Ministry of Health to help change their perceptions.

What is DiS for you?

Firstly, it's a home—a place for ongoing development. That's also why I've stayed for so long. All the guides here continually evolve in their self-understanding. Initially, some may be in denial, saying, "I can hear." But over time, they come to terms with their deafness or hearing impairment, bolstering their self-confidence. I don't think there's another workplace where a deaf person can interact with such a diverse audience.

Did you believe you would guide here for so many years, and what makes you stay here?

Definitely not.

What did you learn about yourself through the tours?

I learned that I'm patient and continuously learning about myself. I can connect with people, and they seem to enjoy my guidance. I hadn't recognized these qualities in myself before.

Can we make a difference in society in favor of persons with hearing disabilities?

Yes, but progress is slow. It starts with small groups. People leave the tour with the message: don't be afraid to approach someone who's deaf. Don't shy away. Communication is possible, and the experience stays with them. I've even encountered people abroad who remember me from the tour.

Some people return for a second tour, and you can tell they've been here before. They're more daring, more understanding. It's not new to them.

What would be your message for life?

Don't judge anyone, especially the deaf. Avoid labeling them with stigmas.

What do you wish for the exhibition?

I hope it continues for many more years, always bustling with visitors and work. I wish for the space to evolve with the times and remain a welcoming home for those who work here.