'A dream come true': Blind expat releases book at Sharjah book fair, hopes to meet UAE rulers

With his book published in his mother tongue of Malayalam, Abdulla hopes to get it translated into Arabic and English


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 5 Nov 2023, 11:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 3:54 PM

It took 26-year-old Abdulla Mohammed Anwar a little over six months to complete his memoir. The book, written completely using voice to text technology, documents how the blind youngster has been determined to live life on his own terms from the day he was born.

His book, titled ‘Direct Witness’ was released at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF)

“This is a dream come true moment for me,” said Abdulla, speaking to Khaleej Times. “I wanted to share my life experiences with the rest of the world, and it has become a possibility in this beautiful country. A lot of people tried to dissuade me but I prevailed and now I have achieved this book.”

To support him during this proud moment, his parents and his brother flew in from Qatar and India. “It is a very emotional moment for us,” said his father. “We were always supportive of his endeavours and now we are proud of him for publishing a memoir at this young age.”

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Equally proficient in English and Arabic, Abdulla has been working in the UAE in the service industry.

Moving to the UAE

Abdulla moved to the UAE eight months ago after he found a job as a customer service assistant in a Dubai-based company called Optus.

“We were very hesitant to let him move away on his own,” said his mother. “But he was quite adamant that he wanted to live here independently.”

According to Abdulla, he has been loving every minute of his life in the UAE. “I am truly grateful to the rulers of the country,” he said. “They call us people of determination and they truly consider us so. The facilities available here make our lives so convenient and comfortable.”

As someone who loves to travel, Abdulla said he is taking advantage of all that Dubai has to offer. “I love getting on the bus and metro and going places,” he said. “I have been to many tourist attractions in the country including the Sheikh Zayed mosque, Global Village and Love Lake.”

Proving his detractors wrong

According to Abdulla’s mother, he has been proving his detractors wrong since the day he was born. “He is one of my twin boys,” she said. “He was blind, but his twin is not. However, it is always Abdulla who has been the more social and more high achieving of the two of them.”

After moving away from home for his studies, Abdulla completed his master’s degree in Arabic before finding employment. Born in Qatar, Abdulla was an ardent listener of Arabic radio, and this fanned his love for the language. His mother, an Arabic teacher herself, supported his passion for the language.

Now with his book published in his mother tongue of Malayalam, Abdulla is hoping to get it translated into Arabic and English. He also wants to continue writing more books about his travels around the world. However, his biggest dream is to be able to meet the rulers of the UAE. “I wish to thank them for the wonderful facilities they have arranged for people like me,” he said. “The UAE is truly a role model for other countries on how to treat people of determination.”


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