Today marks the International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD), a United Nations observed day that aims to increase public awareness, understanding, and acceptance of disabled persons, and celebrate their achievements and contributions.
“I will be a celebrity and influential person someday,” are words said by people God created special, those with special abilities. There are those who God created with 47 chromosomes instead of 46 and who thus suffer from Down-Syndrome. There are those who have disabilities in one part or more of their bodies like a hand or in the brain due to this condition. For these reasons, they are constantly the focus of curiosity seekers and are totally marginalized in society.
Thirty years old ago, due to social ignorance, when such a child was born to a family, they used to think that it was a catastrophe or a sign of anger from God who would oppress this child. They would imprison him at home out of embarrassment so that nobody knows of her or his existence. Children with Down syndrome were also prevented from going to school because their parents feared that they would hurt other children as if they are aliens who would transmit a virus to others or were caring deadly germs from outer space.
International special powerlifting champion Nadia Fekri, 45, is a mother of two boys. Fekri opened up about how she fought her difficult circumstances to become a world champion and send a message of hope to all the whole world with one wish in her heart: to honor her country, Egypt. “I participated in many local and international tournaments like the Open Nations Championship (1997) which was my first tourney in which I got the third position. This was followed by the Fazza Championships in 2006 in Dubai,” she said.
Fekri is an employee at renowned Egypt’s telecommunications firm. She represents the firm in league championships. In turn the company, she said, provides her with all her needs. “My mother made me the person who I am,” Fekri added.
“She would take care of me, encourage me, and teach me how to take care of myself as well. Even when I fell down as a child she would leave me and tell everyone else not to help and aid me until I stood up on my own. I would wonder why she was so hard-hearted but later I discovered that she wanted to teach me a lesson in life to depend on myself and not to wait for others to aid me.”
Fekri revealed that her husband, who also plays sports, was also there for her and is also a sophisticated guy and completes her. There are also trainers who helped her like Mohamed Nabil and Eimad Bahgat, among the others.
On the other hand, there were some people who belittle her, but this actually made her now more determined to prove that she exists and can win any challenge, according to Egypt’s athlete.