Is life all about survival?
"It's all about survival"
Invasion of the nations, arrival of the torch, lighting of the fire: In the beginning it looked as if the postponed Paralympics would take place this year after all. The German para-judoka Shugaa Nashwan organized a mini-Olympia in his native Yemen. In order to spread his message of peace, the blind, lightweight man also put his life in danger for four weeks - in Yemen, which is marked by civil war, the risk is omnipresent.
“It's not a human existence. It's all about survival, "the 22-year-old reported from his experiences on site:" On the last day we got into a conflict that ended in a shootout. And meanwhile I had my big sister's little children in my arms. That's super awesome. ”Nevertheless, he has never regretted his trip, from which he returned on Saturday. After all, his "Be Courageous" project included a deeper mission.
“I wanted to awaken hope in people again,” explained Nashwan, who fled Yemen to Germany at the age of five: “Sport is something that symbolizes the bond between people. That's why I chose him as a mediation option. ”But the implementation was anything but easy, between the fronts of the government and the Houthi rebels, Nashwan's plans had to go unnoticed as much as possible. “We wanted publicity, but we had to be careful not to be seen. You could never talk openly, "said the third place in the European Championship in 2017 and 2019, whose brother Mohamed, who traveled as a cameraman, had to go to prison twice. The local Olympic judoka Ali Khousrof helped to find a mixture of "risk and caution" on site.
About 20 local children came to the "small Olympic Games" with secretly produced national flags, a mysterious torchbearer lit the "Olympic fire" in an improvised tent. Khousrof and Nashwan gave the children judo lessons and then fought an exhibition match. "Joy does not make this little Olympia, but the fact that it has made little people happy and gives them hope," said Nashwan, who also experienced added value for himself: "I have experienced an extreme inner growth." That for him should now also help athletically on the way to the Paralympics. »I have been so mentally focused in the last few weeks and have been able to put myself behind something like never before. That also has an effect on sport, «says the psychology student optimistically a year before the new Paralympic event.
A medal is not his top priority in Tokyo. “I will of course stand up for my ideals there and not stand behind commerce or nationalist ideas,” announced the judoka who lives in Marburg: “I will support the Olympic spirit because it is shaped by peace. There used to be a truce everywhere at the Games. I would like that to be the case in Yemen by the time of the upcoming games. "
His mission in the country of his birth is said not to have been his last. "It was not only the most exhausting, but also the most valuable time of my life," said Nashwan in an all-round positive conclusion about the trip: "I am ready to use the strength I have gained for something further positive." SID / nd
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