A Lesson in Courage and Determination from Mauritania


Physical disability is a fact of life for millions, yet it makes many able-bodied people feel uncomfortable. Protest movements could learn a great deal from people with disabilities. From the moment that “sticker” is attached to their life, the disabled must struggle against a lack of freedom, the curtailment of privacy, and denial of their rights. Their experience – being ignored, disliked, feared, misunderstood – should strike a chord with everyone in every protest movement.

Do you contemplate joining a protest but feel shy, apprehensive, afraid? Perhaps you think you are not “that type” of person, the youthful romantic hero climbing a lamp post, flag fluttering between his perfect teeth.

Here are two very active and able members of the February 25 Movement in Mauritania, Ahmed and Rafiq. When I have doubts about my abilities, I think of these guys, and many others like them. They inspire me, I hope they might do the same for you.