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Challenge my Wheelchair Done by: Maitha Ali ID: 200800914


My name is Rashid. I was born in Ras Al Khaima in the 1975. My disabilities were caused by lack of oxygen to my brain. My mother was advised to take me to a school for disabled people, but she kept me at home because my parents didn’t have enough money. I have one brother, Ahmad who is younger than me by 3 years.


I grew up knowing I was different. Other kids teased me and called me names like “retard.� The first time I felt hurt and left out was in the fifth grade. I was put in the second grade gym class while the other fourth and fifth graders played together in gym class.


One day, a famous football player visited the fourth and fifth grade P.E. class. All the kids got his photographs except for me because I was with the second graders. Mom called the school to tell them it wasn’t fair, but I was punished by the school for complaining too much.


When I was in grade nine, my mom was pregnant again and my dad was out for work a lot. I was forced to stay at home to watch my mom in case of emergency.


Sometimes I got bored and left to play with my friends. Once, I returned late. My dad was mad that I left my mother alone. Later that night, I awoke to him yelling and beating me. My mom didn’t know that my father abused me.


My mom delivered her baby, but something went wrong during the birth; she had a major stroke and died. My dad became even more distant.


He never asked me if I wanted to talk about her death or offered me counseling. I was depressed and stayed away from everyone.


Dad got remarried after five years of mom’s death. Everyone went to wedding except for me; he told me to stay home and watch the house.


Years later, when I graduated from high school, my neighbors had a big party for me even though my dad and step-mom were against it.


After graduation I worked as a volunteer in National groups for disable people. I became the leader on one of them. This made me feel very happy and confident about myself. I got to know people, shake their hands and listen to their dreams. My goal is to be the voice for people who have not been heard and to empower them. Many families, like mine, don’t believe their disabled family member has a voice or mind of their own.


I started to become well-known. Eventually, I also got a paying job at the ministry of health. A year later, I got married and lived happily with my new family.


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