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Born without legs and partially developed arms, Youssef Abu Amira never let his disability hold him back from achieving his goals.
Hailing from Gaza's Beach refugee camp, the 24-year-old law graduate has left everyone amazed by taking up the challenge of learning karate, despite his disability. Youssef holds an orange belt and has mastered stick-fighting.
Youssef regularly trains with his coach at Gaza's Al-Mashtal Club for Martial Arts. "I wanted to prove to myself and the world that disability is in the mind and is not in the body and that nothing was impossible," Youssef told Reuters.
Youssef's innate confidence, in mastering what he aims at, has proven that nothing is impossible. He adds that he always wanted to learn karate so that he could defend himself. Apart from this advantage of learning karate, he also dreams of taking part in international championships.
Youssef trains regularly with his coach. He can now deliver strong punches and fend off attacks with his body and arms. Coach Hassan Al-Raai, also pointed out that Youssef has shown immense determination in learning karate.
"I was surprised that Youssef has different skills and can do things better than people with fewer disabilities could do," said Hassan Al-Raai.
Youssef uses a motorised mobility scooter to commute and for travels along city roads. Last year, he graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza's College of Sharia and Law.
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