Akram lived a harsh and difficult life, after a major injury that made him lose the lower half of his body, as a result of which he lived on a sledge that he made for himself, and pushes it with his hands to move from one place to another, in addition to working.
Akram Al-Shuaabi, a thirty-two-year-old Yemeni youth, lost half of his body as a result of falling from the roof of the workplace on a high voltage current; This made him stay in the intensive care unit in a coma that lasted for six months, which ended with the loss of both of his legs.
Akram introduces himself, in a sad tone and in a low voice: "My name is Akram Abdo Ali Hassan, born in 1990 / Taiz, I was deprived of education because of the difficult financial circumstances of my family."
Akram faced a bad life at the beginning of his youth, as his family was living in extreme poverty, which prevented him from attending school, and he did not find work that would enable him to provide a living, at a time when there are no job opportunities, except for those who have a university degree, so how can an illiterate person who cannot read or write.
All these circumstances prompted him to expatriate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but working in expatriate countries was the cause of his tragedy.
The beginning of the tragedy
Akram recounts his story to "Khuyut", saying: "I traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2007, looking for work, after the living conditions narrowed and reached a dead end. I was eighteen years old at the time, working on the hangar of a factory in the city of Abha, and one morning, while I was on the roof of the hangar working on installing nails for zinc, I felt dizzy, pulling my body back, and I didn’t know what happened to me after that.”
Akram was awarded the title of Yemeni champion in weightlifting in 2011, and he also won third place in the Arab Weightlifting Championship in Jordan in 2019. Akram is one of hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in Yemen, whose number is estimated at about 15% of the population.
Akram became dizzy, fell unconscious on the high-pressure power lines, and then to the ground, after which the lower part of his body was affected. The serious injury forced the doctors to amputate him, after he sat unconscious on the bed for one hundred and eighty days.
Akram continues, saying: "I opened my eyes one day, to see a nurse standing in front of me, and as soon as she saw me, she screamed for joy, I heard her calling: "Doctor, Doctor." The doctor jogged and was astonished, and said to me: Your survival was like a miracle, you fell from a high place on high pressure electrical wires; Which led to you entering a coma for six months in a row, after which it was decided to cut the lower part of your body.”
With great pain, Akram remembers what happened to him: "When the doctor told me, I was in an indescribable shock, and I lived a very bleak period, after which I returned and sat with the family in Taiz for a year, and I went through difficult and harsh conditions in terms of difficulty of movement."
Akram moved from Taiz Governorate (southwest of Yemen) to the capital, Sana'a, to live alone, sleep on the sidewalks, his only concern is how to move around and overcome his disability.
Indeed, with a lot of insistence, Akram overcame it by making a sledge that helps him move around the streets of the capital, Sana'a, which enabled him to work in a car wash to earn a living.
Akram talks about this by saying: "I needed a way to help me move around and live my daily life, so I came up with the idea of re-making skateboards that I found one day thrown in a trash, and I was able to collect and build them until they became a shape that fits my body."
And he continues, looking at his sledge: "It means a lot to me. It accompanies me and takes me everywhere I wish! In short, it is the lower part of my body."
Akram complains about some of his friends who abandoned him and not supporting him, even in providing his daily sustenance: “Some of my friends abandoned me, and I struggled a lot to get my daily food, so I decided to rely on myself and not be dependent on anyone. Therefore, I worked in the streets in car washing, Sometimes I find a job and many times I don’t, but the important thing is not to give up and not wait for anyone’s mercy.”
During his commute to work, Akram Al-Shuaabi came across a sports trainer on a street in Sanaa once, who encouraged him to practice weightlifting! That meeting constituted a great motivation, and a gateway to hope for Akram, who took this matter seriously, heading to the club to start training, and then participate in many local and Arab competitions.
Akram won the title of Yemen’s champion in weightlifting in 2011, and he also won third place in the Arab Weightlifting Championship in Jordan in 2019. Akram is one of hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in Yemen, who are likely to number about 15% of the estimated population who reach about 30 million people.
At the sports club, Akram met a friend with whom his relationship developed. After a while, Akram asked his friend to marry him to his sister, so his friend went to present the matter to his sister, to get the surprise; His friend's sister agreed with complete conviction to marry him, even though she had seen pictures of Akram half-body.
"I feel today that I am a human being like others, I will marry like others and I will be happy as others rejoice, today will be the most beautiful day of my life"; This is what Akram said after he put on his wedding clothes two hours before the start of his wedding, which took place on the 18th of last March.
While his wife Hanan expressed her admiration for her husband Akram, when she saw his first picture of him; "The most generous person who did not give in to despair, was not broken, and was never defeated, so he entered my heart and I loved him and I am ready to live with him for life."
It is worth noting that Akram currently lives in a small room in the capital, Sana'a, and faces harsh living conditions, while trying to earn a living with his own hands, despite his disability, in light of the poor economic and humanitarian conditions experienced by the country as a whole.
In a country like Yemen that has been going through ongoing conflict for more than seven years, the story of Akram, who celebrated his marriage with half a body, embodies a noble and great model that reflects the spirit of challenge, struggle, hope, overcoming disability, and victory over the wounds of war. It lays down a broad title stating that the "wheel of life" does not stop, no matter what the compelling challenges and circumstances are, just as disability and war cannot stand in the way of struggle and ambition.