Today I had the honor of meeting a young Emirati lady who trains and works at the Al Marmoom Equine Therapy Center in Dubai. Fatma is 19 years old and was diagnosed at birth with Cerebral Palsy which in her case means she has physical disabilities that limit the use of her lower body.

I got to watch her ride her horse “Archie” and carry out exercises that help her gain strength and balance. I was inspired the minute she waved at me from her horse, she just had this glow about her that I couldn’t quite explain, that was until we started speaking after her lesson.

Whenever Fatma spoke she had a huge smile on her face. Whatever she was doing she did with all her heart. Fatma is currently finishing up her senior year in high school. In addition she manages Arabic media for the center, she is a regular volunteer at various events and social initiatives around the UAE, she has a passion for extreme sports (she paraglides in South Africa and is waiting for SkyDive Dubai to return her request to jump in Dubai).

Her dream for the future is to build a center where she can help people with special needs, where she can teach them everything she has been taught, where she can show them how to live despite all the challenges they are faced with.

What makes Fatma so amazing is not only her beautiful view of the world, but the beautiful view she has of herself. She has a confidence that is absolutely unbreakable, that nothing can stop her for achieving her dreams.

She is not wasting any time complaining, worrying, or blaming people for her challenges. She is giving life everything she’s got. She is giving the world her heart, and filling her soul with everything the world has to offer.

Fatma, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for inviting me, thank you for inspiring me, but most of all thank you for being you and reminding me that life is meant to be lived with passion.

May all your dreams come true.

Your brother,