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Omneya Elyamany, A Life-changing Event!

Omneya Elyamany, A Life-changing Event!

Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos

After 9 years of a car accident, Omneya Elyamany decided to tell her story through a very interesting project called #backtomarch2010. As a result of an accident, the outcome was her being on a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Through pictures, the campaign takes us on a journey, that expresses the beginnings, midway and discovering new horizons.

The Beginning

The campaign starts with a picture of her on a wheelchair, labeled as Disabled. In the second picture shows her hands and legs are tied by the new labels.

Suggestions from people around to stay relaxed and not necessarily go to university or practice any kind of activity starts to arise. because as they claim, she won’t be capable anymore of doing such things. In the next shot, she wonders about those comments and new barriers and how will she face them.

The Struggle

The girl was about to discover the superpowers that we all have but not everyone is capable to unleash. The power of creating your own world, pursuing and believing in your own dreams. Unleashing her powers Omneya starts to fight her nightmares, negative and deconstructive comments, thoughts and challenges by her statement: “I will let you know what A DISABLED GIRL CAN DO.”

The photo directing shows how persistent she is, the look in her eyes and the red highlight on her hand announces her comeback. To change her life, she changes her thoughts. She went to university, graduated successfully. Followed her passion and played sports and that was the turning point. When she discovered that it is all doable.

Omneya then shares her struggle with her wheelchair, her lifetime friend, as she calls it. Adapting and breaking stereotypes becomes their mission together and sharing a life-changing experience is their agreement.

Capable

At the end of the campaign, she holds a mirror that reflects her face written on it capable. Labeling herself of being Capable instead of Disabled, of doing the things that not anyone is capable of.

The Campaign is captured by Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos and directed by Arabesk Photos & Omneya Elyamany.

“I will let you know what A DISABLED GIRL CAN DO.”

Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
Back then, they told me so.
Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
They told me wear a nice dress, hire a good nurse and a car driver, go out with your friends, have fun and stay the rest of your life relaxed. They told me you can’t do this, you wont be able to do that. They told me to study an easy major preferably from home. They told me never fall in love because no one will ever love you nor accept your situation. They told me we will find you a desk job that does not require moving a lot, you shouldn't get tired. They told me to stop dreaming,to shut down my inner voice and passion and to accept what come my way just as it is. They pity me always calling me “Ya habebty, Ya 3eni”. They judged me as non ambitious .. useless .. non-sexual
Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
ll those comments and barriers led me to severe anxiety, sleepless nights, late nights crying and overthinking. Should i accept this ? would my paralyzed legs limit me from living like before my accident ? would this wheelchair be a curse ? would all these physical and mental challenges stop me from LIVING ? Omg, my little me, the 17 years old girl is LOST ! Why? how? and when would this nightmare pass? And to be honest, this was NEVER easy, every single word or action was a true heartbreak that left me questioning more WHYs! THIS IS NOT FAIR ...but ...GOD YOU ARE. So, I looked at what they call “my wheelchair” but what I saw was “ a lifetime friend” and asked: "Would you be an obstacle or should we adapt to each-other's lives?".
Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
No, This shouldn’t be how it gonna end. I wont let you judge me. I wont let you tell me what to do and what to don’t. I know that the change is big but also I know my CANs and I know my CAPABILITIES. This is not the end, It is THE BEGINNING. . I am free from all your negative comments. I am free from all the barriers you put in front of me. I will let you know what “A DISABLED GIRL” CAN DO! I will tell you about “The home uni-life” i chose, the Dream that “i was never able to do” and the passion “i lost”. I will make you NEVER JUDGE AGAIN. Now watch and let the game start.
Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
That was the turning point. That was the start. And I proved them wrong , when i made it happen and i shocked everyone ! I turned every “Can’t” to an action and this motivated me. I went to the uni, entered the major i want and successfully graduated. I followed my passion in my work. I played sports to be more independent. And i fell in love again. I found my fire baby, I found MY FIRE! The comebacks were always difficult but they are much greater. I changed my thoughts so i changed my life. I wanted to know what will happen when i don’t lose hope and surprisingly I made them believe in hope. . This is my life, THIS IS MY LIFE.
Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
My dear UNBREAKABLE life-time friend _my wheelchair _, Now we are free, now we are adapted. Although I know Egypt is not the best country to wheel on its streets and you wont slide a lot on ramps because you will rarely find one. I know people will still look at you as if you are tiding me from doing loads of things, but people will never stop judging. . We both are struggling yet we agreed that is not how we both want it to end. We both chose to BREAKDOWN STEREOTYPES , we chose to try even (with a little) though slowly to CHANGE MINDSETS. . How much it was easy to lose hope, and we only know how much it was difficult to get adapt. We are calling each other a life changing experience, but did we really change? we didn’t, but we chose to observe life with a baby eyes, try to know how to do things again in a new way and new style and that made it much easier and fun. . Now imagine if fate never crossed us together, life would have been so boring! right? Myself & you chose to turn the sleepless nights, the pain and the tears to be our motivation. And Thanks to every breakable moment because it let us knew how much we are weak yet too strong. . We both chose to LIVE. . Elhamdlalah, even if we don’t understand why.. We believe that it is the right thing to happen. And amazingly, you are the best experience i ever had so far. Without you, i wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength, you helped me to know the real me. Yours, The UNBREAKABLE me
Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞, 𝐈 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐨.
Photography Egypt Back to March, Omneya Elyamany, Mohamed Mandour & Galal Yousef from Arabesk Photos
Capable

Architect, interior designer, urban planner, researcher, and founder of Linesmag. Moustafa has worked in all of the mentioned fields and she loves sharing and exchanging knowledge with others.

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