The Challenge

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Dunia is the private weekly journal of a girl born with disability, who uses a wheelchair and a respiratory ventilator machine yet is no different to any other person, read about her struggle, tribulation as she strives to seek independence. The character and events of the journal are pure fiction and bear no relation to anyone.
by: Raya AlJadir (@Carelessrayoon), World Enabled Research Fellow


Hello Dunia,

Being alive and active is a blessing from God, along with everything that has been bestowed upon us, whatever we have within our grasp is a gift, and one should always accept gifts with graciousness and content. I understand that you will regard this as ‘mere words’ without sufficient connection to reality, as it’s not always easy to disregard what we are missing out on life’s worldly goods and concentrate on our current possessions. A year or so ago if anyone has said to me be more content and accepting then you will realise how good your life is in reality, I would have probably ignored them or more likely got annoyed and angry. I doubt there is a remedy or a plan of how to be happy, we are all different with unique needs living in various surroundings, but I am trying my best to identify things that give me positive energy, and in return make me happy.

I realised that there is no quick guide to happiness or a magical method, mainly because happiness is like any emotion – a temporary state that won’t last. Therefore we should strive to be content and at peace with the world. I decided that I should read more and so I started reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert and came across this quote that summarised quite adequately what our mission in this world should be, “You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” This I will implement no matter what the obstacles are, it is a challenge that I will embrace wholeheartedly. This book has inspired me a lot, I know it sounds silly and I always used to mock people who would say a film or a book or a play changed their lives, but seriously I feel this book just fell into my lap at the perfect time. Although I have tried reading it twice before but every time I stopped, once I reached the 5th or 6th chapter and never continued, I guess like everything in life there is a right time and for some peculiar reason when I picked up the book again this time I carried on and did not stop, maybe because I found similarities between me and the narrator or possibly because I needed a kind of guidance, someone to tell me what to do or lead me and I found it in this book. I am being silly, right?

Did I tell you that I started volunteering at a publishing house, they specialise in children’s books and I will be their feature writer/blogger/reviewer, and Dunia I am loving this role, it is fun reading children’s stories then writing a review of them, and a great opportunity to learn and improve my writing. I feel so blessed and lucky Dunia and feel this is a sign that once my thoughts became more positive and focused, things started coming my way and I should proceed with my challenging plan.


Raya is an English degree graduate from Queen Mary, University of London, where she also read Renaissance Studies for Masters Degree and currently researching for a PhD thesis entitled ' The role of servants in political matters in Early Modern Drama'. Raya is a freelance translator, writer and proof-reader, she has also taught English to refugees and migrants as a volunteer at The Migrants Resource Centre and worked at both Amnesty International and Equality and Human Rights Commission. Currently she is volunteers at various charity projects and Research centres, such as Scope, Muscular Dystrophy UK. Raya is a keen blogger and campaigner for disability rights issues and has her own site 'Careless' Her main interest is promoting disability awareness especially among Arabs and Muslims.
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