Mahmoud is 38 years old from Syria.
It’s a place that has been torn apart by seven years of war, bombardment and attack.
Mahmoud is disabled because of this.
Indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Syria has left many young people injured, often with serious physical disabilities and lost limbs.
Disabled young people find it difficult to adjust to the restrictions their injuries have on their life and their ability to work or look after families. A comprehensive lack of disability support means they are left feeling isolated. This increases the risk of them becoming economically and socially disadvantaged.
But civil activist group Zoom In is working to address these problems.
Mahmoud recently attended a training workshop run by Zoom In and Peace Direct to learn how to repair and maintain mobile phones.
After successfully completing the workshop, Mahmoud set about contacting his relatives to secure the necessary funds to set up his own mobile maintenance shop. In the knowledge that Mahmoud was one of the best during his training, his relatives supplied him with the funds he needed to begin his work.
“I felt some fear of failure when the shop opened, but this fear disappeared after my first success in repairing my relative’s mobile phone.”
However, Mahmoud continued to feel sadness for his friends, who could neither attend the training or secure the funds needed to practice the profession. He continued to send pictures of his work to them as a source of encouragement and to stop them from feeling so isolated.
Mahmoud’s mother cried a lot when she saw him in his new shop, as everyone in his family had kept his work as a surprise for her. She used to pray for him every day.
Joy in Mahmoud’s work was not limited to just him but extended to his friends too. One of them said:
“He has proven to himself and everyone else that disabled people have the ability to overcome their fears and live in society naturally, despite their disabilities.”