- Title: Gaza man with disabilities conquers karate
- Date: 14th January 2021
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (JANUARY 13, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF KARATE PLAYER, 24-YEAR-OLD YOUSSEF ABU AMIRA, TRAINING WITH COACH HASSAN AL-RAAI ABU AMIRA DURING TRAINING ABU AMIRA TRAINING WITH RAAI ABU AMIRA'S WHEELCHAIR INSIDE HALL WITH HIM TRAINING IN BACKGROUND (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KARATE PLAYER WITH DISABILITY, YOUSSEF ABU AMIRA, SAYING: "As people with a disability or what we are referred to as people from a "marginalised category", I wanted to play Karate so I can defend myself and I dream of taking part in international championships and the Olympics." VARIOUS OF ABU AMIRA DURING TRAINING VARIOUS OF ABU AMIRA TRAINING TO LEARN STICK FIGHTING SKILLS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) COACH, HASSAN AL-RAAI, SAYING: "I was surprised that Youssef has different skills and can do things better than people with fewer disabilities could do. He is determined and defiant, and he challenges his reality. He wants to show society that he is not disabled; society is disabling him by putting barriers in front of him so that he cannot reach his dream." VARIOUS OF ABU AMIRA LIFTING WEIGHT ABU AMIRA DOING SIT-UPS WITH WEIGHT ON HIS BACK ABU AMIRA TRAINING BEACH REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA (JANUARY 12, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KARATE PLAYER WITH DISABILITY, YOUSSEF ABU AMIRA, SAYING: "I was born without limbs but what helped me get over this situation is believing in God, then satisfaction, I was satisfied, this is the most important thing. Third, (I have) the perseverance, determination and the ability to challenge (current conditions). I have determination and I love life, I want to live." GAZA CITY, GAZA (JANUARY 13, 2021) (REUTERS) ABU AMIRA ON WHEELCHAIR IN STREET BEACH REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA (JANUARY 12, 2021) (REUTERS) ABU AMIRA GOING UPSTAIRS VARIOUS OF ABU AMIRA WRITING USING ARM AND MOUTH ABU AMIRA WRITING MESSAGE ON MOBILE USING NOSE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KARATE PLAYER WITH DISABILITY, YOUSSEF ABU AMIRA, SAYING: "I do 80 to 85 percent of my needs alone. I eat alone, for example sandwiches and soup; I move around alone without help, I climb the stairs, I go down the stairs, I drive the motorised chair alone. But I need help to go to bathroom and to wear my clothes."
- Embargoed: 28th January 2021 11:40
- Keywords: Disabilities Gaza Karate Palestinians
- Location: BEACH REFUGEE CAMP AND GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: BEACH REFUGEE CAMP AND GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Human-Led Feature,Human-Led Stories,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001DV6FYVP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Youssef Abu Amira, a Palestinian law school graduate, never let disabilities hold him back. Born without legs and with only partially developed arms, he has taken up a new challenge - karate.
The 24-year-old orange belt showed his stick-fighting skills as he trained with his coach at Gaza's Al-Mashtal Club for Martial Arts.
"I wanted to do karate so I can defend myself, and I dream of taking part in international championships," Abu Amira said.
His mastery of the stick helps him make up for his missing limbs, and he has learned how to deliver strong punches, and fend off attacks with his body and arms.
Coach Hassan Al-Raai said his pupil showed particular determination.
"I was surprised that Youssef has different skills and can do things better than people with fewer disabilities could do," Al-Raai said.
A resident of Gaza's Beach refugee camp, Abu Amira travels along city streets in a motorized mobility scooter. He graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza's College of Sharia and Law last year.
(Production: Fadi Shana, Arafat Barbakh, Bassam Massoud, Mohammed Shana, Mohammed Salem, Roleen Tafakji)
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