GAZA, Palestinian territories´╝ŹMohammed Eleiwa and Ahmed Abu Daqin are two young Palestinian amputees from the Gaza Strip. They have been trying to master the sports of parkour as well as other activities despite the obstacles they face.

“When I jump from one place to another, I feel like a bird that is flying in the sky,” Eleiwa said.

“I have been training for several months to master parkour,” the 18-year-old right-leg amputee said.

Eleiwa lost his leg in 2018 after 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 he can finally fulfill his dream and practice parkour, which usually requires a high-level ability to control the body.

Because of the disability, Eleiwa feared he would be bed-bound the rest of his life.

The psychological pressure led him to sports as a way to get rid of the stress that hounded 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.

He began playing parkour on his own without asking others for help.

Eleiwa was also challenged when he decided to play basketball with a group of his friends, all of whom had one or both legs amputated.

Ahmed Abu Daqin, an amputee from Gaza, has been taking part with 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 truck hit him. He got his prosthetic limb in 2008.

Exchanging experiences

“We have been exchanging experiences about how we can deal with our disabilities,” Abu Daqin said.

The two men have participated in dozens of sports competitions as members of Palestinian national teams, including in basketball, football, and skateboarding.

They feel proud winning several international awards, considering 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 said.

“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.