(MENAFN - Alghad Newspaper)
Third year undergrad, Al Mutasem Billah Abu Mahfouz, is majoring in software engineering at the Zarqa Private University. He was born with a type of cerebral paralysis that would have otherwise hindered his progress. But with the help of his brilliant family, there was nothing he could not do.
Al Mutasem was not deterred by the taboos of our society and culture.
Despite the absence of necessary care for this segment of society, he was able to go to school, enrol at a university, and achieve remarkable results.
School was not easy for him. There is no dedicated workspace for students with disability. Still, his family fought to get a supervisor to write down his answers during the general high school examination sessions, Tawjihi, due to Al Mutasem's inability to write the answers down himself.
Against all odds, he passed, with flaring grades, and got into university with on his own merit.
College is no ride in the park for him either.
There is no support system; not in terms of infrastructure or services, which is not aided by a supportive societal culture for a man in his shoes.
If anything, his story is one of great success and perseverance, deserving of high commendation. With a drive to conquer all odds and achieve the unimaginable, our friend did not stop there. He went on to author two books.
The first on the suffering of those with similar disabilities, and the second was an amazing novel, which is technically an autobiography.
In his novel, he tells the exquisitely painful but passionate story of how he made it through school, college, facing up to society, and the strife of his family, whose achievements are no less fascinating.
How would you like to know that it took him four year to type it in using only his nose and iPad?!
More so, the novel was extremely interesting, with every unfolding detail on this Jordanian jewel's life and his success.
Besides the fact that it is the first novel to ever be written using one's nose, the value of it is beyond just the physical achievement. He realises that his strife, put in words, describes more than just his journey, as an individual, but that of all those who struggle with disabilities.
His novel is also intended to break the stereotypical perception of people with disabilities, and encourage them to explore their potential.
He says that disability is not confined to mobility or speech. It is a far greater problem when it hinders the mind and mentality.
Much is expected of this young Jordanian legend. His story reminds me of this one movie, the Theory of Everything, about a brilliant physicist who defied the world; Stephen Hawking. But a lot more is expected of the state.
The Minister of Culture himself sponsored the book signing ceremony of Al Mustasem's novel, but it is not enough!
We want this young man to become a Jordanian role model of innovation, will, and progress. His achievements deserve him the highest of decorations, which is the least we can do to honour his strife!
This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.
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