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Middle East/North Africa Region

Opening Ceremonies at the World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
Since 1999, Special Olympics' work has been expanding rapidly in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA). Special Olympics MENA holds a successful track record of Regional Games since 1999, award-winning World Games in 2019, the first-ever Pan African Games 2020, Unified Sports, and local and regional competitions that build inclusion, truly led by the athletes. Beyond sport, year-round activities of Special Olympics MENA activate siblings, youth, health practitioners in all fields, families, young athletes, volunteers, supporters, change agents, and people from all walks of life to create regional impact that drives the global movement of inclusion.

Stories from Middle East/North Africa

Saif and Ali Sumaida: A Father Supporting his Son on and Off the Field of Play

“I am Saif Bin Sumaida, a retired senior engineer from ADNOC Gas. God blessed me with four sons and two daughters. We discovered that one of our sons, Ali, had autism at four years old and he struggled a lot with his speech growing up. We enrolled him in speech therapy sessions at the New England Center to help him work on this.
3 Min Read

Transformative Power of Believing in one's Potential: A Coach and Athlete’s Bond

Ahmed El Farji has taken on the role of coach with Special Olympics Morocco tennis player Hajar Cherif Lamrani, guiding her with dedication and expertise.
2 Min Read

Special Olympics Jordan Athlete Leader Abdullah’s Mission of Inclusion

Abdullah Al Nahas was born in December 2000, and he impacted many lives with his warmth and friendliness, leaving an extraordinary mark on all those around him.
2 Min Read

Middle East/North Africa Contact Information

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35 Gezirat El-Arab St., Mohandiseen
Giza 12411
Egypt
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Middle East/North Africa Programs
  • Algeria Special Olympics Algeria provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Bahrain Special Olympics Bahrain provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Comoros Special Olympics Kuwait provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Djibouti Special Olympics Djibouti provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Egypt Special Olympics Egypt provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Iran Special Olympics Iran provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Iraq Special Olympics Iraq provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Jordan Special Olympics Jordan provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Kuwait Special Olympics Kuwait provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Lebanon Special Olympics Lebanon provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Libya Special Olympics Libya provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Mauritania Special Olympics Mauritania provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Morocco Special Olympics Morocco provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Oman Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    Special Olympics Oman was established as a Special Olympics Founding Committee in 2016.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Palestine Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Qatar Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Saudi Arabia Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Sudan Special Olympics Sudan provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Syria Special Olympics Syria provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Tunisia Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • United Arab Emirates Special Olympics is a global organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.

    Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates hosted the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The Games were held March of 2019. Abu Dhabi is the first place in the Middle East-North Africa Region to be host of a Special Olympics World Games. Learn more

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
  • Yemen Special Olympics Kuwait provides empowerment, acceptance and joy. But for every Special Olympics athlete, there are many people with intellectual disabilities we haven’t reached yet.

    It’s at the local level—right here—where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.

    Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
Young male athlete cheering with a paddle in his hand.

Middle East/North Africa

Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa (SO MENA) resources.