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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


February 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Special Olympics Syria is Working Hard Despite its Tough Situation

By Noha Gaballa

Four studies on designing a location for the office for Special Olympics Syria were selected during a 15-day workshop “voluntary competition." The workshop was organized by the Faculty of Architectural Engineering at Damascus University in cooperation with Massar Rose project in order to design permanent premises for Special Olympics Syria.View Story Four studies on designing a location for the office for Special Olympics Syria were selected during a 15-day workshop “voluntary competition." The workshop was organized by the Faculty of Architectural Engineering at Damascus University in cooperation with Massar Rose project in order to design permanent premises for Special Olympics Syria. Making a permanent office is a critical milestone for Special Olympics Syria to develop its movement. The workshop proposed a study for designing a location that meets the standards for Special Olympics Syria in the southeast side of the Massar Rose building at the old fairgrounds of Damascus. The proposed studies included new ideas on having two warehouses, gardens, open playgrounds and other administration rooms while taking into consideration the low cost of implementing proposed studies. Special Olympics Syria works on improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by having a community that openly embraces and welcomes all. Upon closing, appreciation certificates along with Special Olympics shields were distributed to the winning students.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa
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February 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

WWE Superstars Meet Special Olympics Athletes in Abu Dhabi

By Noha Gaballa

During the WWE February 2015 live tour in Abu Dhabi, Special Olympics athletes from the United Arab Emirates met WWE superstars Dolph Ziegler & Sami Zayn and took photos with them while holding a Special Olympics-branded ball.View Story During the WWE February 2015 live tour in Abu Dhabi, Special Olympics athletes from the United Arab Emirates met WWE superstars Dolph Ziegler & Sami Zayn and took photos with them while holding a Special Olympics-branded ball. The show took place on Friday, 13 February in Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium, and the WWE stars showed their deep support to the Special Olympics Movement and athletes. Special Olympics athletes were invited to attend the WWE live show. The Middle East North Africa office of Special Olympics agreed to participate in such a great event and seized this opportunity to encourage people everywhere to help create more unified communities around the world. The partnership between Special Olympics and WWE began years ago, then their support evolved in 2013 when they became a Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and will further expand their reach to spread awareness, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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February 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Middle East North Africa Is Sending Big Delegations to the World Games in Los Angeles

By Noha Gaballa

Fifteen countries from the Middle East and North Africa are sending delegations to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. A total of 443 athletes will travel to LA for the Games, which start July 24.View Story Fifteen countries from the Middle East and North Africa are sending delegations to the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. A total of 443 athletes will travel to LA for the Games, which start July 24. The delegations are broken out this way: Algeria is sending 28 athletes; Egypt is sending 64 athletes; United Arab Emirates, 74; Bahrain, 11; Iran, 32; Iraq, 12; Jordan ,20; Lebanon, 22; Libya, 35; Morocco, 36; Palestine, 35; Saudi Arabia, 25; Qater, 21; Syria 18; and Tunisia, 10. Los Angeles Council Member Tom La Bange welcomed Ayman Abdel Wahab, Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa President and Managing Director, and expressed his appreciation for the great role and the nonstop efforts he is playing in the region during such a volatile period the region is passing through. La Bange also awarded Abdel-Wahab the Golden City Certificate and invited him to sit next to him on stage during a conference held ahead of the Games to allow heads of delegations to showcase their cities. “I was surprised by such warmth and a welcome that I did not expect at all,” Abdel-Wahab said.“I am sure that LA Games will be a marvelous one where all Special Olympics athletes will be comfortable."

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: SO MENA Staff
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February 09, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Libya

Libyan swimmer, Noman Al-Sadik Felfel (The World Champion) and his journey of achievements

By Noha Gaballah

Noman was born in 1971 with ID (DS) in a family of 11 members. He started practicing swimming since his early childhood, at the age of 4. He is very sociable and has a sense of humor that takes the heart of whoever sees his kind spirit and cheerful smile that does not leave his lips.View Story Noman was born in 1971 with Down syndrome in a family of 11 members. He started practicing swimming in his early childhood, at the age of 4. He is very sociable and has a sense of humor that takes the heart of whoever sees his kind spirit and cheerful smile that does not leave his lips. He was the first athlete to join Special Olympics Libya in 1998 and from here started the journey of his consecutive achievements:- His first world participation was in the World Summer Games in the United States. He grabs the attention and makes a memorable achievement for Libya after winning 2 silver medals. This success was a superior matter for the advancement of sports of people with disabilities in Libya. After that, he participated in many successive regional and World games whereby he won many gold & silver medals in Tunisia, UAE, Syria, China and Greece. After that, he was chosen as the global messenger for Special Olympics Libya. He took parts in many international conferences where he was introduced as a role model for people with intellectual disabilities.

About Noha Gaballah:I am an editor with Special Olympics in the Middle East-North Africa office in Cairo.
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December 17, 2014 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Champion Mariam Naeem

By sanaa monir

On the medal stand

Mariam Naeem is 15 years old. She does aquatics and equestrian as well as bocce. She also works as a TV hostess for a program about intellectual disabilities and also does volunteer work.View Story Mariam Naeem is 15 years old. She does aquatics and equestrian as well as bocce. She also works as a TV hostess for a program about intellectual disabilities and also does volunteer work.

About sanaa monir:I am Mariam Naeem's mother, Sanaa.
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Special Olympics Blog

Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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