I Am Differently Abled, Not Disabled

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MAI AL ABRIA –

Othman al Kathiri lost the ability to move his lower limbs due to a speeding accident six years back. He regrets it but he has to face the result of this “reckless action”.
“My advice to all youth is to stop speeding. It is the first reason for most of the road accidents. Nothing deserves the tears of my parents. It was a mistake,” he shared.
Othman’s journey has not been an easy one. From someone who is socially active, the accident held him back and stop him from doing what he was used to doing.
“I had rough times at the beginning,” he said.

3645665765“It took me a while to realize that I am now different than before and I need to cope with it. One day I realized that I needed to say goodbye to the walls that held me in, so I made a goal—a very simple one—and told myself that I needed to get out of the house one time each day,” he added.
“My next step, becoming social, took a lot of courage. As I look back, I am sometimes surprised I was able to become more social, but I realize the key was that I started small. I would go shopping when more people were at the store. I would go through lines with tellers rather than self-checkout lines. I started going out with old friends who were always been there for me during this crisis,” he recalled.
Othman said that he didn’t lose hope though that he will gain mobility again. He said, “I didn’t lose my hope with treatments. I travelled to many places but the result is the same.”
He added, “When I came back to Oman, I joined Rochester’s Wellness Centre. I worked as a receptionist and I do exercise at the same time. This experience also helped me to share my thoughts and feelings with people having the same problem. We share hopes and we encourage each other here. New patients also do feel at home when joining the centre.”
One of Othman’s realisation is that, some things have changed.
“I am now a differently abled man. Being unable to move my legs didn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams, or continuing my daily routine,” Othman said.
“Differently abled people see, hear, and think of what others can’t. This makes their ability different — not inferior, not superior — just different,” he added.
He also said, “Sport was and still my number one priority. I am a member now at the Paralympic Committee for people with special needs. There are no limits for one’s ambition. It only needs commitment and persistence.”
“To build up my career again, I joined the Arab Open University on my own expenses this time. I had to continue my studies and achieve my bending dreams. Too many dreams are still on the list,” he said.

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