5/5 © Reuters. Gaza man with disabilities conquers karate 2/5
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) – Youssef Abu Amira, a graduate of the Palestinian law school, never let disabilities stop him. Born without legs and with partially developed arms, he has taken on a new challenge: karate. The 24-year-old orange belt showed off his stick fighting skills while training with his coach at Gaza’s Al-Mashtal Martial Arts Club. “I wanted to show myself and the world that disability is in the mind and not in the body and that nothing is impossible,” said Abu Amira. “I wanted to do karate to be able to defend myself and I dream of participating in international championships.” His mastery of the stick helps him compensate for his missing limbs, and he has learned to hit hard and defend against attacks with his body and arms. Coach Hassan Al-Raai said his student showed particular determination. “I was surprised that Youssef has different abilities and can do things better than people with fewer disabilities,” Al-Raai said. Abu Amira, a resident of the Gaza Beach refugee camp, travels through the streets of the city on a motorized scooter. He graduated from the Faculty of Sharia and Law at the Islamic University of Gaza last year.