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Middle East - North Africa

Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa is one of the Special Olympics’ global seven regions. Comprising 22 Arab states, along with Iran,  Special Olympics in the Middle East-North Africa region has been flourishing throughout the past several years. The region managed to increase the number of its athletes from 20,000 in 2001 up to 150,000 in 2013.

Cairo was host to the 2014 regional games. Read more
My Daughter ... My Teacher Read their Story
In the 24th of September EKS Day was celebrated around the region See Slideshow
SOMENA Results in the World Summer Games Athens 2011. See Results

Stories from Middle East-North Africa


September 02, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

The Golden Fish Returns and Earns Medals at the World Games in LA

By Noha Gaballah

The Egyptian swimmer Mostafa Galal emerged from 10 years of retirement from Special Olympics and made everyone proud as he broke his own records, a big victory.View Story The Egyptian swimmer Mostafa Galal emerged from 10 years of retirement from Special Olympics and made everyone proud as he broke his own records, a big victory. He returned back to training last year and began an intense training regimen, then he participated in the swimming national competition in which he was chosen to represent Egypt's Special Olympics delegation in 2015 Special Olympics World Summer games in Los Angeles. "It's the challenge, motivation and enthusiasm that pushed me to be faster, better and stronger. I have an inner voice that says there’s no finishing line and I can still compete and achieve a new record," said Mostafa. Mostafa's coaches and family are very happy with his fierce sense of competition, unwavering determination and courage that make him beat his personal best and get a precious medal. Mostafa Galal is a teacher at Misr Language School. He has an impressive record of achievements; his international achievements were a gold medal at the World Summer Games in New Haven, Connecticut, USA in 1995, three bronze medals at the World Summer Games at North Carolina, USA in 1999 and last but not least were 2 bronze medals at 2015 Special Olympics World Summer games in Los Angeles. Regionally, Galal claimed one gold and two silver medals at the swimming competition at the 1st MENA Regional Games that was held in Cairo in 1999 and two silver medals at the 3rd MENA Regional Games in Beirut. Galal was selected as a Global Messenger of the MENA region in the years 1998-1999. Mostafa Galal became the first Global Messenger of the MENA region and had the honor to attend a dinner at the White House held by the U.S Former President Bill Clinton during the Christmas celebrations. And for the first time in the history of Special Olympics MENA, Galal was named as Deputy Manager to Egypt's delegation at the 2nd MENA Regional Games that was held in Morocco. For the first time, Galal participates not as an athlete but as an official delegate. Galal felt so proud that he succeeded in running a perfect job in an experience to be recognized by Special Olympics Egypt. Both Galal and his father participated at an international conference that took place in the Netherlands where they spoke about their experience with Special Olympics and how swimming had changed not only his life but his family's life as well.

About Noha Gaballah:I am on the communications staff of Special Olympics in Middle East North Africa.
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August 20, 2015 | North America: District of Columbia

Athletes Return Home to Praise and Recognition

By Kate McKenna

The talents of Special Olympics athletes were on full display during the nine-day World Games in Los Angeles. And their achievements continue to make an impact in the 165 countries that took part, as leaders in the highest levels of government and across society speak out about the talents and achievements of our athletes.View Story The talents of Special Olympics athletes were on full display during the nine-day World Games in Los Angeles. And their achievements continue to make an impact in the 165 countries that took part, as leaders in the highest levels of government and across society speak out about the talents and achievements of our athletes. From India to Israel, in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, Special Olympics athletes have been welcomed home to national acclaim and, in several cases, governmental pledges of renewed support for their Special Olympics programs in particular and for people with intellectual disabilities overall. This attention from Presidents, Prime Ministers, Sports Ministry officials, cultural and business leaders can have long-lasting effect – especially in parts of the world where people with intellectual disabilities face severe isolation and stigma. In those countries, what might seem like a simple “welcome home” for athletes can mark a turning point in policy.

About Kate McKenna:I am the director of editorial and multimedia for Special Olympics.
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August 14, 2015 | SOI: Europe-Eurasia

Special Olympics Global Ambassador Yao Ming becomes Sports Awards Judge

By Suzanne Coogan

Special Olympics Global Ambassador and one of the world’s biggest sporting icons will be on the judging panel for a new global sport awards event to be held in Abu Dhabi. Yao Ming is China’s most famous sporting figure and remains an inspiration for young athletes.View Story Special Olympics Global Ambassador and one of the world’s biggest sporting icons will be on the judging panel for a new global sport awards event to be held in Abu Dhabi. Yao Ming is China’s most famous sporting figure and remains an inspiration for young athletes. Ming who was a leading player for the NBA's Houston Rockets, confirmed that he will be part of the Sport Media Pearl Awards - an awards competition to showcase the best in sports journalism. He will be part of an elite judging panel looking at entries from sport journalists from all over the world who report on everything from amateur to professional sporting events. The Awards, managed by AIPS (International Sports Press Association) and hosted by Abu Dhabi Media, are the first international awards dedicated to the sport media industry. They are designed to put the spotlight on sport reporting. Submissions are open in six categories: Writing, Photography, Audio, Video, Journalistic, Weblog and Sport for a Better World.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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July 26, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Historic Opening to World Games 2015

By Christy White

More than 65,000 crowded into the Los Angeles Coliseum last night to participate in the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremonies. Welcomed by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who officially opened the GamesView Story More than 65,000 crowded into the Los Angeles Coliseum last night to participate in the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremonies. Welcomed by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who officially opened the Games, these Games are the largest event hosted by Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics and mark the return of the Special Olympics Summer Games to United States after 16 years.Athletes, coaches, officials, family members, volunteers and fans were treated to a star studded opening ceremonies that electrified the LA Memorial Coliseum headlined by Stevie Wonder and included performances by Avril Lavigne, Nicole Scherzinger, O.A.R., Cody Simpson, J Balvin, Becky G, Cassadee Pope and 'Reach Up LA' theme song creator Siedah Garrett. Emmy Award Winner, Debbie Allen directed the show. Stars from TV, film and sports also made appearances including Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Lauren Potter, Michael Phelps, Colin Farrel and Jamal Charles.An amazing night for everyone!

About Christy White:Director, Global Media and Public Relations
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July 11, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Special Campaign for Special athletes under the slogan “Know & encourage them”

By Noha Gaballa

Inviting people to know and encourage the athletes participating in SO WSG in LA 2015

A group of Egyptian youngsters organized an awareness campaign aimed at promoting a sense of community and common identity that provides an environment in which Special Olympics athletes and their families can develop a more supportive and welcoming community that believes in inclusion, acceptance, respect and human dignity.View Story A group of Egyptian youngsters organized an awareness campaign aimed at promoting a sense of community and common identity that provides an environment in which Special Olympics athletes and their families can develop a more supportive and welcoming community that believes in inclusion, acceptance, respect and human dignity. The idea of the campaign is to support the athletes participating in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer games in Los Angeles from 25 July- 2 August as they were very excited that LA 2015 is fast approaching and they want to invite all people to get involved and be a supporter. They made banners with photos and names of the athletes on and spread it in the big malls, stores, clubs and on different social media channels saying Just know and encourage the champions. Let’s start..Let’s change the world and spread the word and show you are a fan and supporter, said the group of youth.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa Staff
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Upcoming Events Around the World


Date

Event

Location

Oct 26, 2015

Gymnastics, Volleyball and Speedball Head Coaches Seminar

During October 26-28 Special Olympics will be hosting a gymnastics, volleyball and speedball coaching seminar in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This seminar will provide training athlete conditioning, sports skills development and sports rules.
For more information
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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
SAUDI ARABIA


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Special Olympics MENA

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Giza 12411, Egypt 

Tel: +20 (2) 3345-5510 

+20 (2) 3345-5510/2 

Fax: +20 (20) 3345-5514

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Special Olympics Blog

The Start of the Solution

Young people from around the globe with and without intellectual disabilities are coming together at the SOGenUin Summit as part of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games with one goal - to change the world.

 

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Posted on 2015-07-23 by Natalie

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