As Dubai prepares to receive thousands of visitors from different parts of the world to participate in the Dubai Shopping Festival, a group of International Paralympic champions from Iran are already here making waves.

By Vm Sathish (Contributor)

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Published: Wed 29 Dec 2004, 2:01 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:34 AM

Since their arrival in the city the 13 sports veterans from the Iranian Sports Federation for the Disabled have been sight seeing and shopping. All members of the group, sponsored by the Iranian Sports Committee, are victims of the long drawn Iran-Iraq war.

Having won medals at the Paralympics in Athens, Sydney and Atlanta they got a chance to visit Dubai as a reward for participating. "We come from Khostan province of Iran, a border town near Iraq which was devastated in two decades old Iran-Iraq war," they said.

"We came here two days back and will leave on January 10, 2004, two days before the DSF begins. Our wish is to continue to stay in Dubai to see the Shopping Festival," said Ali Reza Yamousa, from Ahwas, who has heard a lot about DSF from friends and the media. Yamousa, a former military man who studied psychology and works in a university tells CT that back home his father works as a driver and his mother is a housewife.

Abdul Jokar's legs were paralysed in a bomb explosion. He worked in the army for eight years till he broke his backbone in an explosion. Jokar has won gold medals in track and field events and prizes for disc throw, javelin throw and shot put.

"I practise for two hours everyday. If I get someone to support me I would like to practise sports here. Dubai is encouraging sports in a great way by the setting up the Sports City," he says. "My father is dead and my mother is a housewife. I want to visit Al Noor for the Disabled and other institutions in Dubai, which support handicapped sportsmen. This is my third visit to Dubai. Four years ago, while I was going to New Zealand to participate in Paralympics, I spent some time in Dubai. If there is someone to help us we would like to practice here."

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