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22 February 2024

Short in height, tall in success: Special Emirati sisters show way

By Staff

Two young Emirati women from Fujairah have shown great courage in overcoming their birth disability of short stature to become champion weight lifters, according to a report in the Arabic daily newspaper ‘Emarat Al Youm.’

Mariam and Moza Al Zayodi said the disability did not hinder them from practicing the sport of weight lifting since 2013 and have even won prizes at local and international tournaments.

19-year-old Mariam, the younger sister, has a record of accomplishments in sport and has represented UAE in many tournaments. At the local level, she participated in the Fazza Championships for the Disabled in 2013 and won a bronze medal in weightlifting.

At the international level, she has participated in the London Junior Championship for the Disabled in the same year, where she won a gold medal.  She won the third place in a championship of Kazakhstan last year.

Mariam said both she and her elder sister Moza were born with the handicap of short stature. Growth was slow for both and there was curvature in the legs. The doctor in the Khor Fakkan hospital said it was a genetic disease.

“My father and trainer of Khor Fakkan Paralympics played a great role in encouraging me and my sister to participate in weightlifting,” said Mariam. “Our father believed in our capabilities despite the disability.”

“Giving us moral support, our father always used to say that there is no difference between us and other normal people and that we can succeed in tournaments,” she added.

The coach also believed that we can win gold medals in weightlifting tournaments both within and outside UAE, she said.

The elder sister Moza, 23, told Emarat Al Youm that she won the third place at the Fazza Championships for the Disabled in 2013 and got the silver medal in Sharjah in 2015.  

Moza said she passed GCSE examinations with 76 per cent marks, after which she and her sister joined the Ministry of the Interior’s Centre for Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons, which helped to boost their self-confidence.

She and her sister got a certificate in secretarial work issued by the centre. Moreover, with support from the family, their disability did not prevent them from practicing weight lifting.

She pointed out that they are currently looking for a job in the Fujairah, and they approached many organisations, both government and private, but without success till now.