Atheer – Nabil Al Mazroui
Zayed Al Shukaili’s life was turned upside down one day, following an accident in 2001 that led to quadriplegia, a paralysis that results in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso.
Although the condition lead to Al Shukaili becoming wheelchair-bound, this has not held him back. He has gone on to establish a special forum for people with disabilities, which now includes more than 31,000 affiliated members from all walks of life within the Arab world.
Al Shukaili did however suffer initially following the accident and subsequent onset of quadriplegia, something that greatly affected his psychology, due to him requiring continuous assistance. Once he got an electric wheelchair and was able to move around by himself, Al Shukaili explains that he started to grow more hopeful, allowing him to realise that perhaps he could pursue his ambitions and dreams after all.
He decided at this point that he wanted to form a family of his own, setting up the forum Tahaddi Al Eeaqa. It received a great response within a short period of time, gaining large numbers of members and witnessing significant levels of interaction.
Al Shukaili explained to Atheer that the forum isn’t only restricted to disabled people, going on to state that it had actually attracted specialists studying a range of different disabilities, who sought to use the forum in order to interact with those who suffered from disabilities.
He pointed out that one of the most active sections on the forum was the autism section, which he believes comes down to the fact that in this part of the world there exists a lack of awareness surrounding the condition, even from people’s own families. For this reason, those suffering from autism seek to benefit by making use of the forum so to better cope with their condition.
According to Al Shukaili, the forum has contributed greatly to helping its members forge friendships with others from across the Arab world, adding that many families have also benefited from it, learning new ways in which to deal with various conditions.
It should be noted that while the forum presently boasts over 31 thousand members, the number of visitors to the forum far exceeds this figure, as visiting does not require registration.