DUBAI // Abdualah Mohammed Al Soori has never let his muscular dystrophy get in the way of achieving his dream of becoming a published author.
The Emirati, who has suffered from the disorder since the age of 7, has written several books of short stories and writes a column for Al Roya newspaper. He said people with special needs have an important role to play in society and should be helped, not discouraged, to contribute.
“Never assume people with special needs can’t enter a particular career,” said the 33-year-old. “Teaching, writing, business, media or IT, veterinary science – you name it – there are disabled people working in every imaginable field.
“Many successful people were told once that their career choices were unsuitable. It is important to set your mind on your goals and work hard for them,” said Mr Al Soori.
He praised the new national policy to offer people with special needs training, job opportunities and career development advice, recently announced by the Ministry of Community Development.
“We are called People of Determination. This title has motivated me to work more,” said the writer, who is studying computer and information science at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Ras Al Khaimah.
Najla bint Mohammed Al Awar, Minister of Community Development, said: “Work communities will be enhanced to support people with special needs.
“People will receive training, job opportunities and career development under a new policy revealed by the Ministry of Community Development.
“We also named the policy People of Determination to recognise their monumental efforts in making achievements and overcoming challenges. They are truly people who challenge life’s obstacles to serve the community and achieve their dreams.”
The policy covers themes including health, education, vocational training and employment, social protection and family empowerment, public life, culture , sport and community outreach.
Ahmed Al Ghafli, who uses a wheelchair, said the community’s attitude towards people with special needs had improved.
“As a person with special needs working in the Ministry of Community Development, I have never felt that they deal with me in a different way,” said the senior project manager.
“Everyone at the ministry assigns tasks for me. I am working on many projects. I am working on developing consumers’ services and experiences.
“God has always been by my side. In addition, I graduated from the University of Sharjah and worked for 10 years.”