Fighting The Epidemic Of Frustration – OpEd


By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

There is a movie on YouTube that is proving to be more popular than films of famous Arab actors and Internet stars.

Five minutes are enough to wake up the great many who are suffering from the most debilitating modern day disability, the disease of yielding to failure.

I don’t know of any movie that has drawn such a large following. The protagonist narrates the story in its entirety. In the movie, he tells of his struggle with a severe disability that deprives him of the use of his limbs. Yet in spite of his condition, he has overcome the challenges caused by his disability only to become a university graduate, a journalist and a man of boundless dreams.

The movie “Ammar” has touched countless viewers not out of sympathy but out of admiration for a man who beats the odds. It is also the name of the hero of the film produced by Badr Al-Hamoud.

His story calls for pride. He has overcome all the challenges and won the battle of his life after an enigmatic struggle. He has simply overcome his own circumstances and that of the society as well.

His story is one of pride having overcome insurmountable challenge and consequently having won the battle of his life. Simply put, Ammar Bouqas and many like him have thrived in spite of circumstance and society.

In sharing his story, he has succeeded in providing a reality check to the lethargic and desperate of us and in rekindling the enthusiasm of the ambitious.

The airing of the hit video coincided with the Paralympic games in London, a set of events that were no less successful than the Olympic games and in which only the most capable sportsmen and women competed. Individuals with hearing or visual impairments, amputations, physical and intellectual disabilities took part in a multitude of games. Some used wheelchairs while others used canes, blades or guides to compete and supersede their abilities.

The message we can thus reap from such examples is clear. Real disability is, in fact, the lack of strong will.

In the 100-meter race in the Paralymics, one of the disabled ran on metal legs until the finish line. He won the gold medal amid admiration of the spectators.

The problem of the society is not with people with disabilities, who are the most daring and challenging of people, but with those who have all their limbs and organs and yet are victims of their own inertia.

These are the people who blame others for their own mistakes and always look for excuses to justify their failure. These people need individuals like Ammar to wake them up and help them realize that life is for living and opportunities do not knock on your door — you must go out and look for it. Whoever wants to succeed must look for it. The youth will not prosper if they remain lazy and unmotivated. If Ammar has done it and climbed the ladder, completed his studies and obtained his university degree, everyone can do it. Like Ammar, there were many others who participated in the Paralympic games and got medals.

We can draw inspiration from these people and fight diseases like frustration, the feeling of inability, failure and marginalization. This difficult social condition makes us ask those whom we call the disabled to go forward and lead the frustrated people to the finish line.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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