Palestinian amputees Mohammed Eleiwa (L) and Ahmed Abu Daqin play basketball in Gaza City, on Jan. 25, 2021. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)
by Sanaa Kamal
GAZA, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Mohammed Eleiwa and Ahmed Abu Daqin are two young Palestinian amputees from Gaza Strip. They have been mastering parkour as well as other sports despite the obstacles they are going through.
"When I jump from one place to another, I feel like a bird that is flying in the sky," Eleiwa told Xinhua, while he was taking off his prosthesis preparing for a jump in a public park in the Gaza city.
"I have been training for several months to master the parkour," the 18-year-old right-leg amputee said, adding that he used to watch his peers while they were playing parkour.
In 2018, Eleiwa lost his right leg after the Israeli soldiers shot him in a march over the eastern fence separating the Israeli towns from Gaza.
After a few months of training, Eleiwa feels proud that he can finally fulfill his dream and practice parkour, which usually requires a high-level ability to control the body.
Because of the disability, he said that he had feared to stay in bed for the rest of his life.
The psychological pressure led to his inclination towards sports, as a way to get rid of the stress that accompanied him after he lost his leg.
"I remember the first time I saw my friends playing football and practicing parkour, I started to cry. But then I decided to play with them," he recalled.
Then he started practicing parkour on his own without asking others for help.
Also, Eleiwa has also been challenged when he decided to master basketball with a group of his companions, all of whom had one leg or legs amputated.
Ahmed Abu Daqin, also an amputee from Gaza, has been participating with his friend Eleiwa in all the sports he has practiced since the beginning of 2019.
"I met Eleiwa during one of his physiotherapy sessions while he was practicing how to use his prosthetic foot," the 17-year-old left-leg amputee said.
Abu Daqin lost his leg in 2007 after a big truck hit him, then he got his prosthetic limb in 2008.
"We have been exchanging our experience about how we can deal with our disabilities," Abu Daqin said, adding that his friend helped him to get involved in other sports.
The two young men have participated in dozens of sports competitions as members of the Palestinian national teams, including basketball, football, and skateboarding.
They feel proud that they managed to win several international awards, considering that they have contributed significantly to raising the name of Palestine in international sports arenas.
"We are spreading the positive energy, not only amongst ourselves but among others, by affirming that people with disabilities can continue their lives naturally and achieve the best for their future if they correctly invested their talents," Abu Daqin told Xinhua.
"I used to feel pity for people with disabilities, and I did not expect to be one of them. But after I joined them, I found that determination is the true force that can help us overcome all the obstacles we face," Eleiwa said.
In Gaza, approximately 49,000 persons with disabilities, about 2.4 percent of its total population, live in "difficult conditions that are hardly tolerated by their counterparts in other societies in the world," according to Palestinian officials. Enditem