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World Games Spotlight: Anas Khalil Al-Zerba, Palestine

Young man playing bocce.

Anas Al-Zerba has made a name for himself as a role model for people with intellectual disabilities, for people with Down syndrome—and for everybody else!

He’s dedicated, but also ambitious: taking on multiple sports, including cycling, bocce, athletics and five-a-side football. He’s competed at local championships in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Al Fara'a, Jericho and Hebron, plus Regional events from Syria to Egypt to Abu Dhabi. Anas was even invited to compete in the 2016 Special Olympics Germany National Summer Games, so this year will mark a return trip to Germany for him.

In recent years, Anas has also taken on more leadership roles in the community, including as a volunteer for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. He’s also become an assistant coach, helping his fellow athletes get better with every training session

Now 32, Anas is a World Games veteran, who competed in the 2011 World Games in Athens, the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, and the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi. He’s enthusiastically embraced both the competition and the lasting friendships he’s made with athletes and others from all around the world.

As Anas puts it, "Special Olympics unites and connects us all."

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