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Kuwaiti citizen turns disability into purpose

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti citizen with special challenges has successfully coped with his physical disability, playing a fruitful role in the society and partaking in diverse relief and humanitarian activities. “I was born with disability, but with a sound brain and spirit,” said Salem Amer Al-Dhafiri, who has succeeded in rising up to the challenges, setting an example to follow, particularly for people of such cases. Dhafiri said in his interview with KUNA, marking the International Day of Persons with Disability, that the impairment, instead of being a hurdle, stimulated him and nudged him to “attain my aspirations”.

The citizen became handicapped after the death of his twin brother in infancy due to some health complications. “At six years of age, I started coping with the disability and realized that only perseverance will make me progress, because I believe that the impairment is in the mind, not the body or the limbs.” Additionally, his family have been quite supportive and have made no bids to isolate him from the society.

Now, he advocates the initiative, “the week of solidarity with the handicapped”, aimed at altering misconceptions and promoting creative works by the special challenges’ segment. Dhafiri, who has learnt French, German, Czech and English, plans to be registered at the information faculty; aspiring to follow in the footsteps of the late Kuwaiti media icon Mohammad Al-Sanousi. The special needs national, who was engaged in voluntary work at Kuwait Red Crescent Society and Civil Defense, had also taken part in combating the coronavirus outbreak and distributing relief supplies to the needy.

Provision 11 of the Kuwait constitution stipulates that the state devote care for the elderly, the sick and the disabled. It secures teaching for the disabled, appoints them to ranking posts in the private and public sectors, grants them housing and financial allotments. Kuwait has particular concern for citizens of special challenges, mirrored in the establishment of the Public Authority for the Disabled. There are various associations in the country that look after these cases – including sports bodies that have made champions. – KUNA

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