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Wheelchairs are no barrier to sport

West Bank and Gaza, August 5, 2013

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Photo Credit: Ehsan Idkaidek/Mercy Corps

Yahya, a 15-year-old double amputee, takes a shot during a wheelchair basketball tournament Mercy Corps organized in the West Bank. The June tournament — the first of its kind here in 17 years — was part of our work to support people with disabilities in the region.

In an area of the world where those with disabilities are highly marginalized, we use sports to integrate participants into their local communities. Teamwork builds confidence and friendships, while this tournament demonstrated the potential of the disability movement and the skills of these athletes to the Palestinian community.

After the games, Yahya was overjoyed: “We love this sport, and we will keep playing it forever. It is a huge part of my life.”