Finding a Zest for Life

Faisal Zaid Alshara’a, a fifth-grade student at the Ahl Al-Qur; an Islamic School & Academy in Ramtha, Jordan, was born without a right hand and only two fingers on his left, as well as a tongue tie for which he had to undergo surgery at a very young age. He also suffers from muscular dystrophy in his legs, which makes it difficult for him to walk.

These physical disabilities made Faisal feel shy, introverted and isolated from his peers, as he could not bear to see the looks of pity they would give him.

Books were Faisal’s safe haven, where he could explore new worlds and lose himself in stories that made him feel alive. However, he struggled to find a way to nurture his passion for reading until his teacher introduced him to the Arab Reading Challenge.

Faisal participated in the Challenge’s fifth edition, qualifying at both the school and district levels. He was ecstatic when his school district’s director recognised him for his district qualification. He then went on to qualify at the country level.

Thanks to his success in the Challenge, Faisal finally felt comfortable with opening up and interacting with his classmates, who now look at him with pride and admiration rather than pity.

Faisal is now preparing for the sixth Arab Reading Challenge and is determined to reach the finals. The child who once refused to interact
with others is now filled with hope and a zest for life. His constant smiles
and laughs fill the room as he talks to friends he met through the Arab Reading Challenge.