Success stories for people with disabilities written with will and determination

Damascus, SANA – Altaf Matar is just one among thousands of brave people who have achieved a lot of success in their lives despite of all the hindrances they faced being physically disabled. Even though Matar had her right leg amputated following following a road traffic accident when she was 8 years old, she succeeded academically and professionally. She is a second-year student at the Faculty of Education, the Champion of the Republic in different sports and an employee at the Institute for the Deaf in Damascus.

Interviewed by SANA, Matar extended gratitude to her family and Principal for encouraging her to continue her scientific attainment, in line with her hobbies such as badminton, table tennis, athletics and powerlifting.

“I started in 2000, the most important year of my athletic career and won the Republic’s Championship in disabled sports competitions several times,” said Matar, adding that she participated in the Arab Athletics Championships held in Kuwait where she ranked 3rd place in javelin throwing.

Matar did not stop there. She mastered the traditional art of painting on silk and took part in different exhibitions in Damascus.

Coach Ahmed Attaya told SANA that Matar is talented player and she keeps improving, adding that he is proud of her achievements and how happy those accomplishments make him.

Attaya has suffered a disability caused by poliomyelitis since he was one year old. The 50-year-old coach began as a wheelchair basketball player at al-Amal Club, then a badminton and a tennis player. After which, he coached wheelchair badminton players at the National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, in addition to training injured army personnel.

He stressed the need for changing attitudes towards people with disabilities and exert more efforts to get them engaged into society.

3 December marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. It aims to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life, to promote their rights and well-being and build their capacity to become active individuals.

R. Raslan/ Ghossoun

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