Jabir Al Kahat: Physical disability cannot limit your capabilities, but may be an incentive to work, succeed and excel
Jabir Alkahat did not attend school, because his father had passed away, leaving him five sisters and their mother. Jabir and his older brother had to work to support his family. Jabir was paralyzed at the age of seven, after he got a fever, and then he took an injection by a doctor that made him a wheelchair for the rest of his life. However, despite his disability, he did not shirk his responsibility towards his family and he and his brother struggled in order to provide a decent life for their sisters and their mother. Therefore, Jabir turned to the profession of tailoring. He spent his life in this profession. Jabir's ordeal did not end with his deprivation of education and his paralysis. Rather, it escalated to the loss of his two six-year-old twin children in 2013 during air raids when they were on their way to school. Jabir describes the experience as very harsh: " I suffered a lot after losing my two children, I felt that life stopped when they were killed, because they were everything to me. For more than six months I felt like I was dead, everything died inside me. I did not want to stay in Syria any more, because it was impossible to live in the same place without my two children. In addition, the security situation became dangerous and the economic situation deteriorated. So I decided to leave. I still see my children in a dream knocking on the door and calling me.” He Says.
Jabir left Syria heading to Sweden in 2015, to start a new journey and a new chapter of his life.
- When I came to Sweden, I never wanted to rely on the government's financial aid. First, because I am used to working and giving, and secondly, because I am a person who loves life, activity, nature and helping others. Jabir says.
Jabir joined several courses to learn Swedish, English and Arabic, and at the same time he offers training courses in sewing in the Sensus.
- I participate mostly in the activities of the Maria Church, and I always try to contribute through my ability and experience in the field of sewing. Therefore, I worked to help them by making bags and curtains, repairing clothes that need repair and providing training courses in sewing, distributing brochures, leaflets, and others. I also provide Many sewing courses in the Sensus. In addition to teaching children to sew, because I love children very much, and I like to meet and work with them and teach them. Ashe says.
Jabir did not want to take advantage of his disability to stay at home and wait for financial aid to come to him at the end of each month from the social security, but decided to go out to work and contribute to society through his work as a tailor as well as his contribution to volunteer work. In addition, he is keen to exercise and swim to maintain his physical fitness.
- I recently signed a work contract with the municipality for one year and it is now renewed for another year, he said and continued. "I am very happy with that. Because I really want to contribute to society with my abilities. I want to work and pay taxes like all the citizens here. I don't want to live on social security or Financial aid. Because there are those who are more deserving of these financial aid than me, for example, old people and people with a disability that actually prevents them from working, etc. In addition, I love to work and help others, I always offer to help others. Because I do not believe that physical disability is a disability that can limit our capabilities, but on the contrary, this disability may be what motivates us to work, succeed, excel, and face life's challenges."
Jabir also expressed his thanks and gratitude for the care and attention he receives here in Sweden.
- First, I want to give a big thank you to the people of Sweden who opened their hearts and homes to welcome us here to live a dignified and safe life. Secondly, I thank in particular the Maria Church and the Sensus because they provided me with a very great support and I I am grateful for that. Most nights I spend time thinking, how can I repay this generosity and interest from the Swedish people and the Swedish government and all this support I receive, and how I can contribute to building and developing this country. Jabir says.
What do you want to say to everyone who came to Sweden and faced the challenges of society and got frustrated?
If you will stay frustrated and wait at home, you will remain frustrated all the time, because it is impossible for the opportunity to come by itself and knock on the door. You have to go out and look for opportunities, and everything will change. Secondly, this country received us and provided us with a safe life and gave us homes, financial aid, free education, care and attention. In return, you should think about how you can return the favor to this country, by actively contributing to this society.