Nafath

Nafath aims to be a key information resource for disseminating the facts about latest trends and innovation in the field of ICT Accessibility. It is published in English and Arabic languages on a quarterly basis and intends to be a window of information to the world, highlighting the pioneering work done in our field to meet the growing demands of ICT Accessibility and Assistive Technology products and services in Qatar and the Arab region.

Dream, Believe and Act by Lobna Smida

Dream, Believe and Act by Lobna Smida

These three concepts have totally changed my
life when I’ve come to the question: “How shall
I believe that my disability should be a trigger
and never be considered as an obstacle?”
When I was a child I used to hear that my
disability was a kind of a barrier. I used to
hear: “Lobna, beware! Mind trying to stand up
otherwise you may fall and break your hand or
foot… Lobna, don’t worry! mom or dad will help
you to eat, drink and of course get dressed…”.
Being fed up with playing the role of a barbie, I
started to indulge the game of those miraculous
hands; I tried to be more reliant on myself: My
biscuit was in my plate and I tried to hold it with
my lips, my teeth cut it into pieces or halves.
Waw! Only by that way I was able to feel how
delicious it was! Yes, there is no one telling me
now to hurry up.
I grew up with wonderful parents who
brought us pencils and so many pens and
pictures to color. I took the pencil and started
to manage it with my mouth. I started to draw,
to write and even to have futuristic vision of
me, being an architect but I’ve chosen English
literature. This was how I went through my
books, did my homework and after my
graduation, my new favorite hobby was to
type using my nose on my smartphone or
my laptop.
Afterwards, the internet connected to
my house, and I roamed all the sites with
no mouse. Indeed, this time my nose and
my chin were my tools. It was and still
is amazing to use programs to conquer
the realm of your dreams that I couldn’t
make surely on any sheet. I started to
know people, develop social programs
which I shared with other persons as
well as my experience, tried to assist
families with vigilance. I conducted my
advice for parental education and tried
to get out from my room to explore other
places in different parts of the world. My
target was and still is to enhance parents
not to be ashamed of their children, to
encourage to look at them delightedly
and proudly and share with them the
adventures and the stories of success.
In 2007 I got the master’s degree, and
in 2009 I received an invitation to speak
and to participate At the National Forum
on Education and Social issues, I talked
about the impact of the Internet and its
importance in our lives.
As a true dreamer and believer, I have
more and more faith in my abilities, and I
have been searching the Internet for any
tool that might help me develop myself.
So, I learned a lot about information
technology, created my own blog and
channel on YouTube, and started posting
and sharing videos, comments and
articles via social media.
In 2015, I was chosen to become
president of the International
Telecommunication Union for persons
with disabilities in the Arab region
under the auspices of the United
Nations. Through the Internet, I
presented a project called “Disability
and Technologies” for the International
Telecommunication Union to compete
for the World Summit Award on the
Information Society in 2016, and I was
invited to speak at international forums
and conferences as well as being chosen
to be the “Ambassador of Smart Tunisia”.
At the Edinburgh meeting in 2016, I
received the necessary votes to become
vice president of the International
Rehabilitation Foundation for the Arab
Region and North Africa. I am now an
international activist who is trying to
pave the way for present and future
generations so that they can fulfill their
dreams.
I was really impressed with the
attention and care provided by of
the State of Qatar to engineers and
researchers to present new proposals
and ideas to participate in the
presentation of strategic plans and
ways to improve the lives of persons
with disabilities in Qatar. These plans
and ideas were discussed and reviewed
during the GREAT 2018 Conference
under the patronage of the Ministry of
Transport and Communication. I have
always thought that this is what we
needed from awareness and tools to
build a healthy relationship between
government and society, which is one of
the best practices we are missing in our
Arab world in this area.
I was impressed by the services
provided by Mada center, and I was also
impressed by the way the center team
worked. I am grateful for their invitation
to participate in this conference, which
provided me with the opportunity
to consult and exchange views and
experiences with experts and assistive
technology professionals from around
the world.
I am honored to be one the regular
contributors to Nafath newsletter, one of
the leading newsletter in the field of ICT
and e-Accessibility.

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