COMMUNITY VOICES | From the darkest to brightest

Ibrahim Muzamil

I lost my eyesight when I was a very young boy living in Taltale, a rural village in Ethiopia. As a result of my blindness, most of my childhood was spent behind closed doors, in the protection of my home; I had no access to formal schooling, and my world grew smaller and smaller. My young life suddenly changed from light to dark, from promise to sorrow.

The accident occurred at the end of 2000. I vividly remember that eventful day. It was very nice, sunny and gorgeous. After I had lunch with my family, I went to climb one of my favorite trees; when I reached the top, I lost my footing and fell many feet to the ground. The fall from the tree changed my life dramatically.

Within a year, I lost my eyesight. It was tough and difficult to accept at first; it was very hard for me to cope with the loss or get used to being blind. I stopped playing with children as I had before, and I quit going to school. I imagined there was no independent life for me; I thought I would have to depend entirely on others and never have a life of my own. There was no blind school or any resources available for blind people in Taltale, the town I lived in. Sadly, I became immured as a young boy. As a result, I became idle and spent all of my time with my family; in addition, I always needed people’s help to leave the house for a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t do anything by myself. I endured this situation for seven years. It was hard to deal with.

When I came to the United States, with great effort and determination, I was able to overcome my disability and regain my independence. After I lived in the United States for two months, I decided to enroll in blind school and learn to walk with a cane, but, at the same time, many people I knew discouraged me and wanted me not to walk on my own because they were concerned that I might get lost or get hit by car. I spent one full, lonely day pondering what was next in my life. Then I made my decision and asked my brother to take me to the State Services for the Blind, a blind rehabilitation center. The counselors there advised me and told me what blind people could and could not do. I began to instruct myself and became hopeful. I was optimistic and looked forward to having a great, bright future. I was committed to working hard and long.

These last three years, I have studied in the ABE program at Southside Education Center, and, most recently, I passed the GED. Soon, I begin classes at MCTC. My plan is to complete one or two years of courses at MCTC and then enter the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.

I’m very thrilled to have passed the GED and to have the opportunity to earn a college degree and, in time, help others, as many have helped me. I thank my teachers for their encouragement, time and patience. I pray and praise God for leading me from the darkness and for the brightness that fills my life today.

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  • I am glad you made it, and your determination is inspirational. - by Hashim Adam on Wed, 05/21/2014 - 4:18am
  • Muzamil I don't think there are words that describe your resilience and commitment to success. You inspire me beyond words and I hope to hear more about your progress. WAANDHI SI WAJJI HAA JIRAATU obbollesso. - by Siinqe Aadaa on Wed, 05/21/2014 - 2:55am
  • Allaah is Great. I am so happy for you Muzamil. I knew you could make that. I hope you and your brother may remember what I told you the first day we met two years ago: " America is a land of opportunities. Therefore, don't stop pursuing your dreams. A bright future is ahead of you" . Yes, I am right and you made it. Congratulations! There are many more surprises to come. Keep on bro.!!!!!!! - by Said Ali on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 11:18pm
  • Muze, the sky is the limit! Everything is within your reach as long as you continue to work so hard. You are in the United States of America! - by Ibrahim Amae Elemo on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 10:07pm
  • Muzamil keenya jabaadhu Rabbin Umri kee sif ha dheeresu haja keetis Rabbin sif ha guutu seena kee irra wolahii barnoota guddan argadhe, namootin heddunis akka irra baratan abdiin qaba, Ati nomoota hedduf fakeenya gaaridha , jabeen kee nama boonsa Rabbin bakka jirtut si haa tiksu obooleysa akhiira. - by Hamza Borena on Wed, 05/21/2014 - 7:15am
  • Mashallah jabaadhu !! - by Aisha Oromia Ali on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 12:20am
  • i like the way you narrate the history, please work hard to reach you goal. God be with you - by Tatek Deneke on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 1:58am
  • SubhanAllah such inspiring story. Wallah remember seen this brother at central library and sometimes at tawfiq islamic center he is always smiling and looks happy. You very strong person both in your deen and duniys keep it up, you have come so far inshallah with the help of Allah you will get into CEHD with no problem. Again very proud of you and all of your accomplishment as your muslim sister. - by Kubra Muhammad on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 8:55pm
  • Maa shaa allaah may allaah shower his mercy upon you. Hedduun siif gamade jabaadhu, ijaan arguu baat us qalbiin agartaa humaa hin yaadin, rabbiin akkana ja, a qalbiitu ballaa taha malee iji Ballaa taatef namni Ballaa dha hin jedhamu ilmi namaa tokko dharaa fii dhugaa wanni addaan beekuun xiinxaltii qalbiitiini. Hedduun ilma namaa kan ijaan argu garuu immoo qalbii ballaa dha. - by Nasir Hamza on Wed, 01/08/2014 - 2:16pm
  • My brother Ibrahim M., I knew you were so smart and intelligent individual! You may not remember, but you have talked and said hello everytime that crossed you to the university of Minnesota twin cities. You never said cold or hot out there, sometimes with your brother, but sometimes alone, you walked either forward Augsburg College or toward Ceder Riverside everytime I walked either from the university of Minnesota or to the university. Let me, tell you this, was one winter, I was heading to my organic chemistry exam and bichemistry on the same while I was having a self talk about these exams I saw you walking with you cane to the school that alone increased my motivation...!!! Congrats! I pray for you to have much more success! I know you will be!!! - by Jamal Abbaa Olanie on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 10:34pm

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Ibrahim Muzamil