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Omar Al-Gharabawi, 32 years old, wakes up at seven in the morning to go to his work. He returns to his home at 1 P.M. to get a rest for one hour. He then goes to another job without any financial reward and just for full volunteering, despite the difficulties he faces in his life as a person with a disability.
Al-Gharabawi was born with physical disability. He was unable to stand or walk, but he did not surrender to his disability and preferred to be distinguished until he found his passion in basketball. He decided to train himself more, and he actually managed to join the school team to play basketball.
Al-Gharabawi suffered from great difficulties in his life since he was enrolled in a normal school for students, especially at that time, there were no schools for people with special needs. He had difficulty in climbing the stairs and reaching school.
Al-Gharabawi said about his uniqueness in playing basketball, “After I excelled in playing basketball at school, I enrolled in a special youth center that was called Abu Raya. After that I decided to join Gaza Youth Team and I was at that time the youngest player in the team. I have been marked by significant progress in this field by God’s grace and won many championships with this team.”
He added, “What encouraged me more was that many young men hoped to join this team, but I was chosen in particular with 10 players in the Gaza Strip. I traveled more than once to the West Bank to represent Palestine, and I won by God’s grace.”
He continued his speech, “Through practicing basketball, I discovered that I have a great ability to move, and I can get to the place I want in a short period of time. This encouraged me to participate in marathon sports, and I won the first place in 2010 by God’s grace. It was a priceless feeling that made me proud of myself.”
Al-Gharabawi managed by his personal efforts to complete his secondary and university studies in the secretarial department. He was one of the participants in the project of improving the employment of persons with disabilities funded by Human Appeal International in Gaza.”
Al-Gharabawi continued, “I learned in a six-month bookbinding course how to design a full book from A to Z. After that I will work in the project for 8 months. I hope it will be a good start for me because the biggest problem I am suffering from in life is the lack of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”
He continued his speech, “Thanks to God, I was able to understand all the lessons in the training without the need for a detailed explanation from the trainer. Despite my attempts to conduct a feasibility study and create my own project, I could not get any project because there was not enough funding.”
Al-Gharabawi returns daily from the bookbinding course to complete his day in another voluntary work at the General Union of Disabled Palestinians in the department of Archives and Data Entry without receiving any salary for his work. He hopes to have his own project to enable him to start a family of his own without obstacles.
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