Brave lady Shaikha Al Shaiba says looking at yourself from a different angle makes your life easier.
Can passion help you overcome physical challenges? Yes! It makes you psychologically tough and prevents the problem from controlling your life.
At the age of two, a medical mistake got Shaikha Al Shaiba’s right arm amputated. Apart from having to deal with this, she had to face unfair rejection and painful comments throughout childhood and early adulthood as well.
People’s pitiful looks and disbelief that she’ll manage to do things hurt her sometimes, but it didn’t bring her down. Changing her point of view helped her channel the passion for life.
“It’s either you step up or you will stay wherever you are forever.” Knowing that there is no other way to overcome this, Shaikha got brave.
She decided to accept the situation and make her life easier. Accepting and loving herself allows her to be happy.
Do you want to stay strong in the face of adversity? Watch now to learn more and remember to share it with your friends and spread the passion.
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Moustafa: Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays, the best way to end a week and start another.
Our guest today is phenomenally passionate that she took away a challenge and transformed it into a passion to make a difference in her own life and in other people’s lives – Shaikha! Thank you very much for being here today!
Shaikha: Thank you!
Moustafa: I really appreciate you being here and I appreciate your soul! I mean, this interview was not planned but when I talked to you I’m like: ‘I need to get your story on camera!’
Shaikha: Thank you very much!
Moustafa: So first tell me more about you.
Shaikha: Um…Well, I started my journey, I was, my arm was amputated when I was 2 years. I am 34 now.
Shaikha: So, um, I have faced a lot of people looking…
Moustafa: Why was it amputated in the first place?
Shaikha: There was a medical mistake. Uhm, they found out there was a cancer lump and they had to amputate it.
Shaikha: When I was one year and a half to two years.
Shaikha: Yeah, but I’m happy!
Moustafa: I’m sure you are but the question is…
Shaikha: I love me!
Moustafa: When you were two years old or three years old and looking at all your friends who had something more than you that looks like a basic to life.
Shaikha: Actually, that’s when my mom suffered the most. Not me, because I was young and she was suffering with my, with all the people like ‘no, we don’t want to play with her, she’s not like us’, with the kids.
Shaikha: So it was very hard at the beginning and then I always used to have an artificial arm and I never went out without it. Never, ever! And then all of the sudden I decided to… this is me, this is who I am when I was in grade 6. And I was like ‘I cannot keep wearing things to make people look at me in a different way.’ I love myself, I love, I always say.
Moustafa: Did that just happen or was that a trigger moment that made that?
Shaikha: It just happened. All of the sudden. Because I just started accepting the way I look, the way I am and then I just decided to have it and to make my life easier. Because it’s either you step up or you will stay wherever you are forever. So…
Moustafa: But you make it, you make it sound too easy. I mean, I’m sure, I’m sure that you had a lot of challenges along the way and you had bad downers where you thought, I don’t know, ‘I wanna kill myself’, ‘Why am I, why me?’ , ‘Why nobody else?’, ‘Why, why me?’.
Shaikha: I never had ‘Why me?’, actually. I know it’s different. But I never had ‘Why me?’. I always looked at the bright side of it. Because I did have it when I was younger. But after growing up and see that there is no other way to overcome the way I am. You know what I mean, right?
Moustafa: Yeah, yeah.
Shaikha: So I have to look at myself from a different angle, to a different angle. Then I can literally start to thinking ‘How can I step up?’ and think. I think… I accepted myself so then when I had to learn and… I learned swimming. I was one of the swimmers in Bahrain. I do cycling outdoors, I go to the gym. So I was thinking like, why can’t…When they told me ‘You can’t do it!’, I was ‘Why can’t I do it. Is it because I am just with one arm or because I just can’t do it?’, ‘No, people with two hands only can do it.’ And I was like, no, that’s not…
Moustafa: Wow! That must have been tough, even psychologically when they just keep drilling into your head the limitation.
Shikha: That’s true! That’s true! And people they look, you know, the look, the pity look. Oh, I feel sorry for her.’ I go like ‘No, I feel sorry for you feeling sorry for me.’
Moustafa: Haha, that’s amazing. And when do you find passion when times are tough. I mean, when they are too many that keep poking, poking at you, there must be a day when you’re feeling weak and it hits you. And you get knocked out. How do you find the passion to get back up again?
Shaikha: The only one time that really hit me, and I was knocked down for three days. I was upset, I was really hurt you can say. A few years back, I ran into someone somewhere and they just stopped me. And they were like ‘Are you married?’, I was like ‘Yes, I’m not.’ So they were like ‘Did he marry you because it was a love story?’. And I was like ‘No, it was arranged’. I just made it up because I knew, I knew where they wanted to go. And they were like ‘Oooh, I’m surprised. How did they accept you?’
Shaikha: Yes, and that was the only time when I said ‘Wow, that really hurts!’
Moustafa: I mean, I’m not gonna talk about what they are because that represents who they are and what they are. But my question is – when you got knocked out so bad like this how did you get back again?
Shaikha: Yes and I was like ‘yeah this won’t put me down and this is not the thing that I’m looking for’ I’m not… Life will not stop if I get married or not. Culturally, people don’t accept… In our culture, Arab culture let me say, they don’t accept you with a different angle, from a different angle. You know what I mean, right? ‘Ah, nah, she is, no, she doesn’t have a hand. What will people say? What’s wrong with the guy? Why would he marry someone like her?’ That’s normal. So for me, then I said ‘Nah, that’s a point of view. We always say ‘He’s tall and he’s short, she’s fat and she’s thin, you know, she’s slim. So I said ‘nah, that’s a point of view. I accept it, that’s an opinion.’
Moustafa: I love your point of view.
Moustafa: I don’t know what to say anymore. I think I need to wrap up here because I think this is the best way you could have ended up this interview by changing your point of view by find passion in life. Well done! High five! Thank you very much! You are phenomenal!
Shaikha: Thank you!
Moustafa and Shaikha: Passion!
Moustafa: What do you think? I would really love to hear your opinion so leave your comments on the blog below and if you find this interview useful as much as I did and as inspiring as I did, do share it with your friends! And if you’d like more tools, tips, techniques and exclusive interviews that I only share on my website, go to Moustafa.com. Until the next episode, live passionately!