Obstacle Breakers

Lina Fayyad wants to hear your inspirational story! She wants to know what obstacles you overcame! The most inspirational story will win free personal trainer sessions for a month from Lina personally!

Ms. Safaa Al-Adwan

My name is Safaa and here is my story:

 I was born on 15th of January 1987 and since that day, I don't remember having one normal day in my life. At age of two I had a bad car accident, I was trying to save my cat in that time so instead of her getting hurt, I got hurt. I was injured in my both legs and I had to be hospitalized for almost 2 months. Then at age of six, I had an experience very close to Abduction, I won't get into details of this story as it is very sensitive, but I managed to get over it. Those circumstances gave my mother a reason to be over protective, my mother was under a lot of stress whenever I went to school or even played outside with the other kids but still she did not band me to do so because she knew that with this she is not going to be able to save me from everything.

Since I started school, I got interested in traveling, learning languages, helping people, reading, camping, and swimming. My father was the reason behind all of this, as he used to take me around for discovering Jordan due to his work circumstances, therefore I became a very adventurous person.

At age of fourteen I started my passion and that is learning languages, I come from a middle class family, whom did not have a lot of money for me to go to Private schools or even to get enrolled in Language institutes or in Summer Camps thus made me to discover my own way and that is using what is available for me and affordable, TV was the main source for me to start learning two languages: English and Hindi. For example, after watching an English movie or Indian movie, I was creating my own dictionary by writing the sentences I have learned through watching those movies or programs, I also tried to save some money from my allowance in order to buy books for learning English and Hindi and also to buy my favorite books to read in the weekends. My mother was the main influncer of me loving reading, she is a professor now and during her educational life, I had to grow up among books. Reading is what made me now, it is the main thing that developed my character and personality. I forgot to add my passion for swimming, as I mentioned before my father is behind the reason why I am adventurous but through our adventures I fell in love with the sea, therefore every summer I used to go swimmig then it became my stress reliever. I was just full of life and I wanted to do everything, literally everything. I always imagined myself writing books about my adventures and raising awareness through them, not only that I kept imagining myself till now that I will be someday a scientist who is going to benefit the world with her experiences, this might sound corny but I know well I am going to do so.

In Tawijihi time (Jordanian High School Diploma- Scientific Sphere) I was studying very hard everz single day, as I really wanted to do something in the university which will secure my life but fortunately I failed the first time in 2004, then I tried it again for the second time and I failed it as well, let me tell you how I felt in that time, I felt as I am nothing, I looked at myself as I was the worst person ever, my family was not disappointed instead they were just worried about me, in that day, the day of the Tawjihi results I was at home waiting for the results till I got to know about mine, I went to my room and I started to watch my favorite Indian movie (Kuch Kuch hota hai) I was crying a lot and watching it over and over again, then the next day I went to a swimming pool which is not very far away from our side of the city and I swam there for 8 hours, I was devastated and I though that I don't deserve anything.

The second time of being failed was even worse, in the second trial of Tawjihi I was working as a volunteer in British Council and I actually thought to give up studying and start working with them, unfortunately people around me, relatives and friends told me it is better if I consider marriage as an alternative since I am not good at studying, they even dared and said making children would be a better option for me but something kept pushing me forward, so I continued the Tawijihi till I succeeded with the average 70% and I went to the University of Jordan then I got enrolled in Modern Languages major (English and German). Of course as a reaction of everyone who thought that marriage would be a better option for me they made fun from my major telling me that there will be no future for me when I graduate. 

The first semester of the University I had a bad car accident again and I stayed in Coma for a year, doctors told me after that, that I am not going to be abel to walk again and I need to get used to the idea of having the wheel chair for the rest of my life. You know in that moment after a year of coma and so many operations in my body, I heared a voice coming from doctors saying that I should be happy that I am a live, therefore I don't need to worry about walking again, the following scenario was like this in my mind ( are you guys for real, I will walk again, I can feel it, I know that I will walk, it is a matter of time. This can't be true). The first thing I did when I woke up, I asked about my university , my family dropped off all of the previous year when I was in coma so I told my mother that I would like to continuo what I have started even if it will be with a wheel chair. My mother did not agree but my stubbornity made her say yes and I did it, I started going to university again with the wheel chair and I finished the Uni in three years, 2010 I graduated with the average 3.4 out of 4. during the time of the university, I had also operations, Physical therapy, and going to Medical swimming till I started walking again, not only walking but also hiking and climbing mountains. After graduation I started working directly as I had a lot of experiences even when I was at the university I was still working and volunteering, I built my future from zero, I worked in Zain, Oxford schools, DHL, Extensya, Amideast and American Embassy till I got a master scholarship in 2015 to Germany, I finished my master in Germany- Dusseldorf in 2016 with a good average, then I got the chance to work with the refugees in Germany. Now I have started as well my PhD in Development, Management, and Planning and I work in the same time in the Department of Youth as a Social worker and Project Assistant.

I am still not married, living in one place to another, being in one country to another, being on one mountain to another, learning new things every single time and not regretting any decision I have made in my whole life. If only I listened to those who made me down, if only I gave up because of the accident, and if only I became weak, I would not have reached what I have reached now. God has not created a passion in your heart for nothing, he knows well you will end up accomplishing it.

Best Regards

Safaa Al-Adwan

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