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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


March 06, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Kuwait

End the WORD

By Manal

I have an amazing cousin living in Kuwait and who has Down syndrome, and he is the absolute ideal child. He's never learned to articulate actual words but man is that boy smart!View Story I have an amazing cousin living in Kuwait and who has Down syndrome, and he is the absolute ideal child. He's never learned to articulate actual words but man is that boy smart! People underestimate him all the time, because of his amazingness. I think that it is not him that deserves the word...rather those who just don't want to see differently

About Manal:I am a college student living abroad at the moment in the USA, studying Psychology, I am also a member of the Active Minds Chapter at my school and I would love to be involved in Special Olympics!
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March 03, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Syria

Alaa is an extraordinary actor, amazing athlete and marvelous Swimmer

By Noha Gaballa

Alla Al-Zybk practices the daily trainings without getting bored; he follows his coach's orders and shows outstanding performance and a disciplined behavior. Special Olympics plays an important role in improving his skills and abilities.View Story Alla Al-Zybk practices the daily trainings without getting bored; he follows his coach's orders and shows outstanding performance and a disciplined behavior. Special Olympics plays an important role in improving his skills and abilities. He has participated in many Regional and world games in more than one sport (Aquatics- Athletics) and gained many gold medals and other awards in Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Shanghai. Alla has many interests and hobbies in which he showed an outstanding level. He has learnt the art of photography after joining several training courses “Damascus was the main idea of his pictures”. His sister said that Ministry of Culture had kept Alla's picture and put it in a catalog. He also paints and has a special skill in blending and merging colors. Moreover, he takes care of small details as if he is taking a photo, not just painting. Alla became famous after his role in "Behind the sun" series which was aired in the holy month Ramadan.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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February 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Special Olympics Syria is Working Hard Despite its Tough Situation

By Noha Gaballa

Four studies on designing a location for the office for Special Olympics Syria were selected during a 15-day workshop “voluntary competition." The workshop was organized by the Faculty of Architectural Engineering at Damascus University in cooperation with Massar Rose project in order to design permanent premises for Special Olympics Syria.View Story Four studies on designing a location for the office for Special Olympics Syria were selected during a 15-day workshop “voluntary competition." The workshop was organized by the Faculty of Architectural Engineering at Damascus University in cooperation with Massar Rose project in order to design permanent premises for Special Olympics Syria. Making a permanent office is a critical milestone for Special Olympics Syria to develop its movement. The workshop proposed a study for designing a location that meets the standards for Special Olympics Syria in the southeast side of the Massar Rose building at the old fairgrounds of Damascus. The proposed studies included new ideas on having two warehouses, gardens, open playgrounds and other administration rooms while taking into consideration the low cost of implementing proposed studies. Special Olympics Syria works on improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by having a community that openly embraces and welcomes all. Upon closing, appreciation certificates along with Special Olympics shields were distributed to the winning students.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa
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February 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

WWE Superstars Meet Special Olympics Athletes in Abu Dhabi

By Noha Gaballa

During the WWE February 2015 live tour in Abu Dhabi, Special Olympics athletes from the United Arab Emirates met WWE superstars Dolph Ziegler & Sami Zayn and took photos with them while holding a Special Olympics-branded ball.View Story During the WWE February 2015 live tour in Abu Dhabi, Special Olympics athletes from the United Arab Emirates met WWE superstars Dolph Ziegler & Sami Zayn and took photos with them while holding a Special Olympics-branded ball. The show took place on Friday, 13 February in Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium, and the WWE stars showed their deep support to the Special Olympics Movement and athletes. Special Olympics athletes were invited to attend the WWE live show. The Middle East North Africa office of Special Olympics agreed to participate in such a great event and seized this opportunity to encourage people everywhere to help create more unified communities around the world. The partnership between Special Olympics and WWE began years ago, then their support evolved in 2013 when they became a Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and will further expand their reach to spread awareness, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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February 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Middle East North Africa Is Sending Big Delegations to the World Games in Los Angeles

By Noha Gaballa

Fifteen countries from the Middle East and North Africa are sending delegations to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. A total of 443 athletes will travel to LA for the Games, which start July 24.View Story Fifteen countries from the Middle East and North Africa are sending delegations to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. A total of 443 athletes will travel to LA for the Games, which start July 24. The delegations are broken out this way: Algeria is sending 28 athletes; Egypt is sending 64 athletes; United Arab Emirates, 74; Bahrain, 11; Iran, 32; Iraq, 12; Jordan ,20; Lebanon, 22; Libya, 35; Morocco, 36; Palestine, 35; Saudi Arabia, 25; Qater, 21; Syria 18; and Tunisia, 10. Los Angeles Council Member Tom La Bange welcomed Ayman Abdel Wahab, Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa President and Managing Director, and expressed his appreciation for the great role and the nonstop efforts he is playing in the region during such a volatile period the region is passing through. La Bange also awarded Abdel-Wahab the Golden City Certificate and invited him to sit next to him on stage during a conference held ahead of the Games to allow heads of delegations to showcase their cities. “I was surprised by such warmth and a welcome that I did not expect at all,” Abdel-Wahab said.“I am sure that LA Games will be a marvelous one where all Special Olympics athletes will be comfortable."

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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