In 1991, at the age of twelve-year-old, I survived a rocket attack in Mogadishu during Somalia’s civil war. Paralyzing me from the waist down, that event irrevocably altered my life. Today, I am a happily married American citizen and telecom manager. I am a passionate advocate for disability inclusion in the workplace.
For an estimated fifty-seven million Americans who struggle with disabilities of all kinds, I hope that my story will alter the negative perceptions they may have of what they’re capable of achieving. If I could withstand a devastating spinal cord injury in one of the most devastated places on earth, I fully believe others can do likewise.
Always Rolling Forward discusses the hard truths about immigrating to the US from a place like Somalia. For instance, had President Trump signed his travel ban into place exactly one year earlier, my wife, whom I’d waited for more than a year to clear all governmental immigration hurdles, would have been detained, and I would have been distraught.
But, from a young age, my life has always been defined by overcoming obstacles. Whether it’s medical, cultural, or my long journey from the depths of Africa to America, the story of my life reveals that optimism, determination, faith, and family are the best allies in the fight. It’s my hope that the men and women who read my story will be inspired to also overcome their challenges.
Unequivocally, my book is about hope against all odds and overcoming insurmountable obstacles, a message that will surely resonate with a wide readership. More specifically, the large communities of individuals with disabilities and immigrants will see themselves within my book.
I hope to paint a vivid yet realistic picture of my trials so that others might feel my losses in order to grieve their own. And I hope to show my successes so that others might see that a positive way forward certainly exists.