World Bulletin/News Desk
Mohamed Gomaa can masterfully communicate with those around him, even if he can't walk, talk or use either of his hands.
The 31-year-old Egyptian, disabled since birth, has only a functioning nose and a strong will -- two things that he believes allow him to do without his other impaired body parts.
Wafer-thin Gomaa drew closer to the computer keyboard and hit the keys with his nose, writing out a message of welcome on the screen in front of him. He also used his nose to draw a series of small squares, creating the perfect digital likeness of a tree.
Gomaa raised eyebrows with his nose drawings at a recent art exhibition held at the Nile-side Al-Sawy Cultural Center in Cairo's upscale island district of Zamalek, where visitors praised the disabled artist's obvious talent.
Gomaa's drawings feature trees, flowers and Egypt's Great Pyramids of Giza.
Gomaa's life, however, has been far from rosy. Almost from birth, the young artist has suffered numerous mishaps, according to his uncle, Khalid Mohsen Abdel-Nasser.
First, a medical accident led to the death of his mother when he was born. Shortly afterward, doctors discovered that he had been born with quadriplegia, which eventually led to the loss of the use of all his limbs, Abdel-Nasser explained.
The string of misfortunes prompted his father to disappear soon after Gomaa's birth, leaving his mother's family entirely responsible for the boy's upbringing.
A few years later, the family discovered that little Gomaa was also unable to speak. This left him with only a functioning mind and a functioning nose, the latter of which was destined to become his sole means of communicating.
As time passed, Gomaa developed an interest in the computer that he saw his uncles and aunts constantly using while he sat passively on the floor. At one point, the family realized the young boy wanted to use the computer himself.
"But we never imagined how he would use it," Abdel-Nasser recalled.
For Gomaa, who was keen to learn how to use Microsoft Word, his nose was the answer.
Before this, he had demonstrated exceptional skill in learning the Arabic alphabet from his grandmother.
He has also shown an interest in writing short stories. "He has written 27 short stories so far," Abdel-Nasser said proudly.
"No, only 17," Gomaa interjected with a nose-written message on the computer in front of him, eliciting laughter and admiration from those around him.
Last Mod: 21 Ekim 2013, 16:26