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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Making an IMPACT: Abdulla Abdukhalilov, National University of Uzbekistan
Abdulla Abdukhalilov is a Senior Teacher at the Department of Social Sciences of the National University of Uzbekistan. He shares his opinions on disabilities on the International Day of People with Disabilities.
Could you please share some memories of your childhood? What did you dream of? What did you try to achieve?
I studied at a school for visually impaired children. I wasn’t good at studies. Most of my grades consisted of “threes” and “fours”. I didn’t have a chance to realize my potential because I used to spend a lot of time in hospitals. They wanted to cure me so that I could see. Altogether I was hospitalized 49 times. During one of those hospitalizations, in Moscow, we met an old woman. I don’t remember her name, and nor does my mom, but we talk about her quite often. Her son taught at the Conservatory though he was visually impaired. My mom asked the old woman how her son managed to achieve that. And she replied: “Always talk to you son. Tell him everything, good or bad. He sees the world through your stories”. My mom followed the advice of that wise woman and ever since that day we talked much more often. Sighted people receive 80 per cent of the information through seeing, while people like me – only by means of hearing. I started improving in studies. I wanted to become a lawyer. One day I watched a politologist talk on TV. It was so interesting that I decided to become one.
In 2000, I was admitted to the National University of Uzbekistan. I’ve graduated from the university with honors. When I was a student, I taught first-year students a class on the works of Nietzsche. I liked it and I stayed to teach at my university.
I love my work, talking to students. I am happy in personal life. I have a good family, a daughter, who studies in the second grade, and a son, who goes to kindergarten.
Today is the International Day of People with Disabilities. What would you like to say to people with disabilities?
We all often think that our disabilities are complications that God gave to us. At the same time, we can’t even imagine that a disability often gives us opportunities that other don’t have. Unfortunately, we look at doors that are closed, and we fail to notice the doors that are open to us.
Together with a friend of mine I published a book, which is titled You reach the success too. I’d like to advise all to read it and find answers to many questions that might be useful for people with disabilities.
What would you like to advise people who take care of persons with disabilities?
I’d like us to finally get rid of the stereotypes of a ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ person. Disability is a unique feature of a person. It is the same feature as ‘slim’ or ‘big’, ‘short’ or ‘tall’, ‘tanned’ or ‘fair’, ‘sighted’ or ‘blind’. We all have our own peculiarities, and the disability is one of them. It is a pity that many people treat persons with disabilities as if they were different creatures. We are not aliens. We are just like all other people. We have the same feelings, desires, and thoughts. You have to accept people with disabilities just like you do regular people.