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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


May 18, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Special Olympics Integration meeting in Cairo next October

By Noha Gaballa

The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El Sisi, signs a special red soccer ball for Special Olympics.

For the first time, a key meeting of the Special Olympics senior leadership will be held in Cairo next October. It will be the first "integration week" meeting to be held outside the US.View Story For the first time, a key meeting of the Special Olympics senior leadership will be held in Cairo next October. It will be the first time the Special Olympics "integration week" meeting will be held outside the US since the founding of the movement in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. The decision was taken in recognition of the progress made in the MENA region and all its programs throughout the past 15 years and appreciating the efforts done to increase the number of athletes to reach out to the greatest number of Intellectually disabled and to keep all activities going in the region especially in such political tensions going on throughout the MENA region. The offer to host the meetings in Cairo was appreciated by everyone especially after the importance Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had shown to the SO by attending the 8th SO MENA Regional games held in Cairo last December. His Excellency gave an example to be followed by other presidents and leaders all around the world, said Ayman Abdel Wahab, managing director of Special Olympics Middle East-North Afric.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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May 15, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

The Flame of Hope is Ignited in Athens

By Christy White

On Thursday, 14 May the Special Olympics Flame of Hope for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, was lit during a formal torch lighting ceremony at the Sacred Site of Pnyx, opposite the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.View Story On Thursday, 14 May the Special Olympics Flame of Hope for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, was lit during a formal torch lighting ceremony at the Sacred Site of Pnyx, opposite the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The Flame of Hope begins its trans-Atlantic journey via UPS Airlines, which will transport the flame to Washington, D.C. in time for the start of the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America, presented by Bank of America, which will kick off on 26 May. At the conclusion of the Unified Relay, the Flame of Hope will be handed over to the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Final Leg Team where they will travel for 13 days to more than 120 cities and towns throughout California, honoring the spirit of the Special Olympics global movement and delivering a message of hope to communities where people with intellectual disabilities continue to fight for acceptance and inclusion. To read more about the lighting ceremony, click below.

About Christy White:I am the Director of Global Media and Public Relations for Special Olympics.
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May 12, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Athlete's Wish Leads to a National Surprise

By Noha Gaballah

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi posed with Special Olympics athletes before the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Middle East North Africa Regional Games.

On the evening before the opening ceremony for the Middle East-North Africa Regional Games, a Special Olympics basketball player named Abdel Menam Saad El Deen was asked about his hopes and dreams. Menam said he wanted to meet the president of Egypt. To everyone’s surprise, a phone call came in minutes later from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.View Story On the evening before the opening ceremony for the big Middle East-North Africa Regional Games, a Special Olympics basketball player named Abdel Menam Saad El Deen was asked about his hopes and dreams. The question came on a TV program called Cairo 360. Menam said he wanted to meet the president of Egypt, and he added that he would invite the president to the opening ceremony. To everyone’s surprise, a phone call came in minutes later from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. He told Menam he heard his kind invitation. The next day, President El Sisi stunned all the attendees with his presence and kicked off the start of the 8th Special Olympics MENA Regional Games in Cairo. It was a major boost for Special Olympics in the whole region. The games ran from 5 to 11 December 2014. After accepting the invitation, El Sisi hailed and praised the athletes for overcoming all the obstacles they face with love, kindness and dignity. He also thanked the thousands of people attending the opening ceremony in the Air Defense stadium in Cairo and gave a heartfelt speech to all the Special Olympics athletes, their families and the people from each participating country. In his speech, he said, “I’m happy and proud to be among you and will certainly continue to support you forever to end the injustice and intolerance as you have equal rights that should be taken care of as anyone in the society.” He also he announced the construction of four new cities in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia and Giza especially for the people with intellectual disabilities. Afterward, Ayman Abdel Wahab, who is president and managing director of the Middle East-North Africa Region for Special Olympics, expressed his extreme gratitude to the Egyptian president for his help in making the Games a success. On another positive note, Wahab also added that the attendance of President El-Sisi signifies the beginning of a new era of attention and care given to people with intellectual disabilities, not only in Egypt, but in the whole region.

About Noha Gaballah:I am a staff writer for Special Olympics in the Middle East-North Africa office in Cairo, Egypt.
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April 29, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Morocco

Region Program Leaders Share Accomplishments, Challenges and Goals in Morocco

By Noha Gaballa

Special Olympics leaders from the Middle East-North Africa Region reviewed major accomplishments of the last year and discussed key issues at the Regional Advisory Council meeting in Morocco.View Story Special Olympics leaders from the Middle East-North Africa Region reviewed major accomplishments of the last year and discussed key issues at the Regional Advisory Council meeting in Morocco. The meeting was in Marrakesh from 16 to 19 April 2015. It was attended by Special Olympics Regional President and Managing Director Ayman Abdel Wahab, Regional Advisory Council members and other Program leaders from the MENA region. At the outset of the meeting, the highlights of last year’s achievements were summarized including the major sports event that took place in Cairo, the Special Olympics MENA Regional Games. After that, the meeting reviewed the Region's executive plan of activities for 2015, such as Special Olympic Unified Football Cup Qualifiers, the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games and other Regional forums and training seminars. The attendees also discussed a number of prominent issues like partnership development and fundraising. The development of the next Special Olympics strategic plan for 2016-2020 was briefly discussed. Last but not least, all Programs’ leaders shared their vision and strategic priorities for the upcoming period; the meeting was fruitful & yielded a number of recommendations.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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April 28, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Bahrain

Special Olympics Bahrain Athletes in the Formula One

By Noha Gaballa

During the Formula One three-day event in Bahrain, Special Olympics Bahrain athletes were invited to attend the most popular annual car race in the world.View Story During the Formula One three-day event in Bahrain, Special Olympics Bahrain athletes were invited to attend the most popular annual car race in the world. All eyes were on Bahrain International Circuit on 17 April as 2015 Formula one Gulf Air Bahrain kicked of. The Formula one event this year was very special with the presence of the Special Olympics athletes, who were very excited and had great fun. The Formula one was attended by famous celebrities and singers from the Middle East. The Special Olympics athletes took photos with the cars, Formula One stars and famous celebrities in aimed airs of joy and excitement. The athletes enjoyed the wonderful mix of racing, entertainment and plenty of action all weekend and wished all teams the best of luck.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa
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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

Jean Vanier, a prophet of humility and simplicity, wins!

Today, the Templeton Foundation gave its most prestigious award to my hero, Jean Vanier.  For Linda and our children and me, he has also been our retreat leader, our teacher of humility, our guide. 

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Posted on 2015-03-11 by Tim

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