How they roll in Egypt: Filmmakers shed light on the suffering of wheelchair users
A Palestinian woman takes a shot during a wheelchair basketball coaching session, headed by US coach Jess Markt, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza strip on May 28, 2016. (AFP/Said Khatib)
Aiming to shed light on the hardships people who use wheelchairs in Egypt face, a group of filmmakers decided to produce a video to capture their daily struggles.
The video, called "A Wish", takes you on a journey in which you can experience a normal day in the life of a girl in a wheel chair. The video shows how roaming the streets is not an easy task for her, because most places are not accessible for people with disabilities.
"Because I started to use a wheel chair after a car accident six years ago, I began to pay attention to the obstacles disabled people suffer from in their daily lives," said Omneya El-Yamany, the main character featured in the video.
"The main objective behind producing this video was to raise awareness about our problems because any wheelchair user in Egypt has the right to live an equal life. Unfortunately, wheelchair users are obligated to ask for people's help all the time because there aren't any facilities for them in the streets, shops, universities, or governmental institutions," she added.
Even in the places that have special toilets for disabled people, workers usually fill them with useless equipment and cleaning tools because they cannot understand their importance for wheelchair users.
"Because all the walkways have no ramps for the wheelchairs to move on, I am used to doing a lot of research about the place I am going to visit. I have to ask first about the ground and whether it is stable or not, the number of stairs, and the availability of elevators. Sometimes, I am otherwise content with visiting the ground floor of any mall or shop because I can't go further," she explained.
When she came up with the idea of producing a video to document her struggles, everyone was excited to help. "Script writer Gamal Diab, director Mohammed Hesham, and video editor Islam Saleh started working on the idea immediately because they are concerned with the cause. We chose Moez Street for shooting the video because it is one of my favourite historical places that I never visit because the place isn't suitable for wheelchair users," she noted.
The video participated in the Qomrah programme and received more than 2601 votes as a result.
"I'm so happy with our participation in the programme as it provided us with a chance to screen our video to a larger audience and let them know about our struggles," she concluded.
By Rana Khaled