In December 2018, the Egyptian people rejoiced when Rahma Khaled became the first Egyptian TV host with Down Syndrome. Rahma was not the only one to overcome her disability in order to achieve her dreams. Early last year, 115 athletes from the Special Olympics in Egypt took part in the Special Olympics IX MENA Games in Abu Dhabi. This year, we present the latest addition to the group of heroes, Mohamed Al-Husseini, the newly recruited 20-year-old spokesperson of the United Nations High Commission on Disability in Egypt. According to Arab News, he is the first Arab, Egyptian, and the first person with Down Syndrome to be appointed as the organisation’s spokesperson. What an accomplishment! Let’s learn a little more about him.
His winning streak started in 2016 when he joined the Egyptian national team for the Down’s Syndrome World Swimming Championships held in Italy, where he competed in 12 races over four days.He continued to shine, in 2017, when he became the first swimmer with Down Syndrome to cross the English Channel at the tender age of 18! Now, Egypt Today states that the chairman of the UN committee, Reda Abdel Aziz, confirmed that appointing Husseini came in recognition of his success in the field of swimming. His responsibilities will include attending global conferences, where he will share his inspirational life story, struggles, and goals. The recognition of Al-Husseini came only a few months afterthe parliament recently gave final approval on a draft law submitted by the government to establish the National Council for People with Disabilities this year.
In a speech celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities, our president stated that up to 10 percent of Egypt’s population is made of up people with disabilities. Even if the statistic was 20 percent or even 50, it is just a number at the end of the day! We are sure that our competent champions will follow in the footsteps of Rahma and Mohamed.