Zina El Nahel: We are the disabled

Posted on September 6, 2012 by

To be able to survive Cairo you need to be as fast as a jaguar in order to catch a bus, as fit as a monkey in order to climb it while its moving because public buses don’t stop for you, you have to run and climb them yourself .Beside that you need to be athletic to go up the stairs in every public building as there are usually no elevators .You have to run for your life as fast as possible when trying to cross the streets as there are no zebra lines respected in this country and no traffic lights. To sum it up you have to be like Tarazan in this jungle where only the fittest can survive.
So being disabled in such a country is one of the worst things that could happen to you. But of course beside the ones who are born disabled a lot of people become also disabled after having an accident which could happen to any one of us at any moment.

I will not use any numbers because I don’t believe there are any true official statistics done in this country but I can tell from the number of accidents that I see with my own eyes every now and then that it’s very common.
And what do we do for this large amount of disabled and handicapped in Egypt? We just neglect them as if they don’t exist .We give them the worst jobs with the least salaries no real health care not any help by any means in order to survive this crazy city. But looks like this just made them stronger and more persistent .Watching the Paralympics I felt disabled myself. How great they have been all, winning 14 medals – till now – ranking Egypt 21 worldwide while in the normal Olympics we only won 2 medals and Egypt was ranked 58. I felt so proud of them but at the same time ashamed that the ones who are most neglected in this country are the only reason for us to feel proud these days by achieving so much with so few money resources and recognition from their fellow citizens.
It’s time to change the way we deal with them. I remember the millions that were paid to the national football team as football used to be one of the distraction methods of Mubarak’s regime. We need to start spending money on the right people. No need to give 10 million pounds to a football player and thousand pounds to a disabled athlete who is doing triple as much work to train despite his disabilit. Just be fair and recognize their efforts because they just deserve it. Don’t underestimate their abilities because in the weakest body you might find the strongest soul.
Thank you Egyptian athletes who took part in the Paralympics you just proved again how strong persistent Egyptians can be, proved again that impossible is nothing and despite all the shit we have to go through each day in this country there is still hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

I salute you and hats off for your efforts

Posted in: Egypt, Society