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Taha Ziyadeh - Jordan

Taha Ziyadeh was 16 in 1980 when he and two friends went to a field to collect mining materials near the city of Zarqa, Jordan. The boys picked up an odd looking object, not realizing it was unexploded artillery shell, also known as unexploded ordnance (UXO). The UXO explosion killed Ziyadeh’s two friends. He was severely injured and taken to the nearest hospital.

Ziyadeh’s right leg was amputated and stayed in the hospital for two months while undergoing eight surgeries to repair his left leg. Regardless of his disability, Ziyadeh was determined to have a normal life. One of the ways he did this was by participating in sports.

He began playing basketball with fellow amputees, and was soon invited to be part of the national team for the disabled at the Jordan Sports Federation. “Playing basketball helped me endure the pain of physical rehabilitation those first few years,” says Ziyadeh. “The support of my teammates and the strength I gained from the exercise were key to my recovery. I think all people with limb loss should participate in sports. It is empowering to be able to compete again, and it increased my self esteem enormously.”

After working overseas for a few years, Ziyadeh returned to Jordan in 1996 to be closer to his family. Soon after, he was married, and now has three children.

In 2001, Ziyadeh was introduced to an LSN Outreach Worker at a local market. The Outreach Worker helped him develop a business plan for a small wheelchair repair business. LSN provided Ziyadeh with the money needed to start the business, and it was enormously successful.

One of the benefits of Ziyadeh’s thriving business was being able to offer free wheelchair repairs to fellow athletes at the Jordan Sports Federation. Says Ziyadeh, “I love being able to help other amputees, and I know that by repairing their wheelchairs, they can participate in sports and gain the strength to recovery fully the way I did.”

View the next profile: Manuel Alberto Chauque

Less than 10 percent of landmine survivors have access to proper medical care and rehabilitation. Please visit our Donate Now section and see what you can do to help landmine survivors around the world.

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