You usually don’t go on hearing about wheelchair karate players everyday, but when you do hear about one it becomes your priority to meet such inspiring people. BarakaBits recently met with the first female wheelchair karate player in the Middle East, Eman Mourad- from Egypt, only to find out not only is she an exceptional karate player but is also a great person with a lot of positive energy to spread.
Eman’s disability came about when she was two years old and was diagnosed with Polio. Now that Eman is in her thirties, she reflects back on her situation and experience as a turning point. Raised by an aware, loving mother, Eman feels grateful that she was raised to see her disability as a mere difference that makes her special. Throughout the interview, Eman kept repeating what her mother told her
“Disability is an energy, employ it well.”
And employ that energy she did. Eman graduated from law school and has worked at a journal. Becoming completely independent was of utmost importance to her- that is, being able to do whatever she wants and go wherever she wants on her own. And when Karate crossed Eman’s way by mere chance, she accepted the challenge without any hesitation.
“A friend of mine, who’s also a Karate champion with a disability, suggested that I join the team… I said why not. I’d do it for fun.”
Eman started practicing karate in 2014. Things then developed quickly, and before she knew it- and after three months of training- Eman was standing before the jury of Al-Giza Karate championship. This is where she won a golden medal for her exceptional performance and was announced the first female wheelchair karate player in the Middle East.
From there on she continued an intense karate training and she participated in many competitions. So far she got 8 belts and won 6 medals, including a medal for winning second place in the international championship.
Other than her great accomplishments as a wheelchair karate player, Eman also works with an NGO to help people with disabilities and to push for their integration within the society.
Pursuing her dream, Eman is now committed to become a karate trainer for people with physical disabilities. She believes that one day she will form a team of people with disabilities that will be able to compete internationally.
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