People call me disabled, but I do not think I am
My name is Samir and I live in Kabul, Afghanistan. I am from a big family, and I started working when I was in the seventh grade, to help support them. While in school I spent my time focusing and studying English. After the fall of the Taliban, knowledge of English was one the main requirements for locals to work with NATO forces. With the influx of foreign troops there was a high demand for translators.
At that time, there were twelve of us local Afghans who were assigned to a US Marine Corp unit. We all knew that the Taliban was trying to hurt and even kill us because we were working with US troops. I was injured three times while doing my duty. On orders from the Taliban, I was hit by a car on two different occasions. The third time I stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device).
I lost my leg in the explosion and stayed in hospital for two weeks. Because of the support of neighbors and family, I was able to recover fast. Despite my mother’s concern about my health, I decided to get back to work and continue my education; because my family needed me to provide for them.
After my accident I had to change my career path, so I opened an educational center. Anyone could come and take Mathematics, English, and Computer Classes. The education center kept me busy and I did not have time to think that something was different or wrong with me.
I now work as a Finance Controller for a large organization in Kabul. I am happily married with two beautiful daughters.
My message to others is that having a disability should not stop a person from developing and improving their lives. There is only a small difference between a person with a disability and a person without. For example, a non-disabled person can move faster than a disabled person. But in the end, everyone has responsibilities in life and these responsibilities have to be taken seriously. One cannot feel sorry for themselves or dwell on what happened to them. They need to get up and push on and choose to make something of their lives. My message for all people is that we do not get to choose to be injured and disabled, it just happens. It can happen to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. Education is the key to success. Every person no matter what their race, religion, or physical abilities should try to learn as much as they can.