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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 29, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Mother's Celebration day under the slogan "Exceptional Mum for a great Champion"

By Noha Gaballa

Special Olympics athletes saying Happy Mother's Day

The MENA region witnessed a number of celebrations to honor Special Olympics athletes' mothers and express gratitude for the hardships they bear in bringing up their children, defeating the impossible, enabling them to practice sports till they turned out to be real champions participating in our local, regional and world games in which they feel realized, gained confidence, courage and bravery.View Story On the occasion of Mother's Day that is annually observed on March 21, the MENA region witnessed a number of celebrations to honor Special Olympics athletes' mothers and express gratitude for the hardships they bear in bringing up their children, defeating the impossible, enabling them to practice sports till they turned out to be real champions participating in our local, regional and world games in which they feel realized, gained confidence, courage and bravery. The ceremony included a show from Special Olympics athletes saying Thank you & Happy Mother’s day in their own special way in an atmosphere of exceptional emotions of joy, happiness and thankfulness. At the end of the day, unique gifts & appreciation certificates were handed over to the champions' mothers in recognition of their outstanding efforts in fulfilling many dreams and hopes.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: Special Olympics MENA Staff
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March 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Lebanon

Sarah "The Lebanese Water Girl" is getting ready for LA

By Noha Gaballa

Sarah celebrates another swimming victory.

“I’m going to win, grab the gold medal and achieve my goal,” said Sarah, a 24- year-old swimmer with Special Olympics Lebanon. She has been engaged in swimming since she was 6, and prefers swimming short sprints in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.View Story “I’m going to win, grab the gold medal and achieve my goal,” said Sarah, a 24- year-old swimmer with Special Olympics Lebanon. She has been engaged in swimming since she was 6, and prefers swimming short sprints in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. Her love of the water is the reason why she has turned out to be a real champion. Moreover, she attended and passed advanced courses in swimming which were given by famous world champion swimmers in Europe. Sarah is a teachers assistant in the nursery; she trains young children and helps them in all their daily activities. Furthermore, she got a certificate in a hotel management course. Sara participated in many Special Olympics regional and world games that took place in Egypt, Syria, Greece and Chin,a and she returned back every time with gold medals. Her next stop is Los Angeles for the the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, starting July 25. She gathered all her medals, trophies cups and displayed it in one place and she said that she will try to find out a bigger place after she is back from LA with new medals.

About Noha Gaballa:I am a writer for Special Olympics in the Middle East-North Africa Region.
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March 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Lebanon

Usual Day for an Unusual Campaign

By Fouad Marrouch

On Monday 9th of March 2015, the Lebanese International University/LIU, Saida Branch, organized an unusual day with an unusual awareness campaign, the “r-word campaign”.View Story On Monday 9th of March 2015, the Lebanese International University/LIU, Saida Branch, organized an unusual day with an unusual awareness campaign, the “r-word campaign”. All the university body from managers, to doctors, to administrators, and of course students, signed the “r - word” banners that hung over the university walls and some signed online. All participants had a thought about words starting with the letter “r” that we should stop using. This activity created interaction among students. Through this campaign organizer were able to recruit new volunteers, as some registered immediately to join in. The campaign began at 8:00 am and ended at 3:30 pm. The number of signatures exceeded 300 both online and on the banner. All got a great impression about this activity and a lasting message to watch for our conversation and the word we use.

About Fouad Marrouch :Sport Direct @ Special Olympics Lebanon
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March 19, 2015 | SOI: Europe-Eurasia

World Winter Games 2017 Mascot Unveiled

By Suzanne Coogan

Lara and Luis - the winning design by Hanna Riebenbauer and Alexander Menzel, design students at the University of Applied Sciences in Styria.

The official Mascot for the Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 has been unveiled at a ceremony at Graz City Hall by Mayor of Graz Mr. Siegfried Nagl.View Story The official Mascot for the Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 has been unveiled at a ceremony at Graz City Hall by Mayor of Graz Mr. Siegfried Nagl. Designers from 10 countries submitted a total of 51 designs and a jury of 9 people including two Special Olympics athletes as well as a public vote selected the winning design. The winning Mascot-Lara and Luis-depicts two of Austria’s most celebrated animals, a deer and a badger, and is inspired by the Games slogan Heartbeat for the World. The two winning designers 23 yrs old Hanna Riebenbauer and Alexander Menzel, 26, are students of the University of Applied Sciences in Styria. Their design took two months to complete. “We wanted to take two animals that are dear to Austrian hearts and combine this with the meaning and spirit of Special Olympics. We hope that the World will take Special Olympics athletes to their hearts as well as Lara and Luis and celebrate the spirit and meaning of Special Olympics. We're really thrilled."

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager of Media and Public Awareness with Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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March 09, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Lebanon

Lebanon will host 2016 first- ever Special Olympics MENA Winter games

By Noha Gaballa

2016 SO MENA Winter games logo

Special Olympics Lebanon will host the first- ever Regional Winter games from 30 January to 5 February 2016. The games will feature 4 Olympic-type Winter Sports (Floor Hockey, Snowshoeing, Alpine Skiing and Cross Country Skiing) with an anticipated participation of 370 athletes, 70 coaches, 60 Youth & Families representing 15 countries from the MENA region.View Story Special Olympics Middle East North Africa recently announced that Special Olympics Lebanon will host the first- ever Regional Winter games from 30 January to 5 February 2016. The games will feature 4 Olympic-type Winter Sports (Floor Hockey, Snowshoeing, Alpine Skiing and Cross Country Skiing) with an anticipated participation of 370 athletes, 70 coaches, 60 Youth & Families representing 15 countries from the MENA region. SO MENA Regional President & Managing Director Ayman Abdel Wahab met the Lebanese Prime Minister and the Youth & Sports Minister in Beirut where they discussed the arrangements for the upcoming Regional Winter games and they expressed their utmost pleasure that Lebanon was awarded to host such a great games that will send a message of inclusion, respect and celebrate the determination, courage and special abilities of Special Olympics athletes.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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Upcoming Events Around the World


Date

Event

Location

May 3, 2015

Powerlifting and Tennis Head Coaches Seminar

During May 3-6 Special Olympics will be hosting a powerlifting and tennis head 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

May 11, 2015

Special Olympics Middle East/North-Africa Regional Triathlon

Come and cheer on our athletes as they demonstrate their courage and determination for 3 days during our first ever Special Olympics Middle East/North-Africa Regional triathlon competition. This event will be held 11-13 May in Bahrain. Support our athletes and experience sports in its truest form.
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BAHRAIN

May 29, 2015

Families Forum and Young Athletes

Join us May 29-30 in the United Arab Emirates for the Special Olympics Middle East/North-Africa regional families forum and young athletes event. Young Athletes™ is a unique sport and play program for children with intellectual disabilities. Children ages 2 to 7 will enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
For more information
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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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

35 Gezirat El-Arab St., Mohandiseen 

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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