RIYADH: Ahmed Hakeem happily picks up his brushes and begins choosing bright colors, drawing cubes and abstract shapes on an empty canvas.
Hakeem is a 34-year-old Saudi artist with mild intellectual disability. Individuals with mild ID are slowed in all areas of conceptual development, social skills, and daily life skills.
But Hakeem’s love of art makes him forget the difficulties he faces as a person with a disability to paint great works of art. He doesn’t let his disability get in the way of what he loves – painting.
Not only is he a good painter, he is also an athlete. He is a good swimmer, plays basketball, loves to run and has won bronze and silver medals in sports.
He is also good at table tennis, padel, hiking and loves animals.
During the pandemic, Hakeem unleashed his creative side and started learning to paint. He enrolled in classes and began drawing abstract and three-dimensional art.
His paintings are on display at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar, a help center and non-profit organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities, and he hopes to have his own gallery in the future.
Hakeem, who works as an assistant at Juffali Heavy Equipment, also spoke about how difficult it is for people with disabilities to find good jobs.
“I need to be aware of the challenges I face across the community. There is a lack of community and activities as they have to register for clubs and this can be financially stressful for their parents,” Hakeem told Arab News.
His sister Nur Akeem said: , which is very difficult. ”
“Airplane tickets are more expensive than economy tickets and the discount rate is not that great, but basically I will book him a regular economy ticket, but I hope this will change over time. authorities,” she said.
According to the official disability organization APD, the Kingdom has a disability rate of 7.1%, or 1,445,723 out of a population of 32.94 million. The association will organize its efforts and build an integrated institutional system to remove barriers for persons with disabilities and enable them to live in society without discrimination.
https://www.arabnews.com/node/2138006/saudi-arabia Disabled Saudi artist blows minds with his paintings