A Talented Handicapped Seeks Patronage [Archives:2000/17/Last Page]

April 24 2000

Mohammed Abdullah

Hafedh Ahmad Sultan Abdul Al-Ghani Al-Asbahi was born in a poor peasant family in 1979 in Noamah village. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a normal, healthy body like other babies. People use their legs to walk, but Hafedh, who was born with 20 cm-long legs, uses his hands to move his body from one place to another, creeping over the rocky ground under the scorching heat of the sun.
When he was 7, Hafedh joined Al-Ghafiqi school with an uncompromising determination, heedless of all difficulties. He had to move his body over the rough ground down from his house up a hill and then climb up a height where the school building was. With determination, he pursued his studies confidently and successfully until he finished schooling.
Besides learning, Hafedh practices his best hobby, painting and statuary to satisfy his creative ideas and aspirations in an astonishing way. He has painted more than 100 portraits of historical and imaginary personalities, as well as others depicting the natural surroundings of his small beautiful village.
Last year, Hafedh completed his secondary school, and now the question that confronts him is: what next? School was the only place he could go to.
After finishing school, he retired to his home, leading a life of a recluse where he could only busy himself in reading, painting and sculpting, moving from one room to another. The longest trip he can manage is climbing up the stairs to get to the house rooftop or scaling downstairs. If he wants to talk to people and make friends or mix with young people of his age he can find none. The only people he is able to talk to are some children playing in front of his house.
Pondering on Hafedh’s life one wonders if the secondary school was the end of his ambitions. One may also wonder about the kind of ambitions he has. He is dreaming of going to university and becoming a well-known painter. Can his poor family afford paying fees for his university studies in the city? Whenever he is asked about his ambitions and hopes, he says: “I would like to be so and so and I will do so and so..” His eyes are soon filled with tears as he realizes his condition, and that of his family. However, he is never desperate. He is still hoping that there will be time for him to overcome his loneliness and realize his modest ambitions.
A poor handicapped young man with such strong ambitions and determination to complete his studies in spite of the hurdles of physical deformity inspires us to have confidence in ourselves and in God.
I do appeal to benevolent people, as well as humanitarian organizations to stand by him, to extend a merciful helping hand to him and encourage him achieve his goals and dreams. Despite his physical disability, he has robust optimism and resolution, insistent to lead an independent, useful life without being a burden on his poor family. He richly deserves all our sympathy and active support.
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