GREECE / SYRIAN REFUGEE PARALYMPIC

04-Oct-2017 00:01:50
For one refugee boy with a devastating spinal cord injury, Paralympic sports have been lifesaving. Najib Alhaj Ali fled Syria in a wheelchair after his home in Homs came under bomb attack, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. UNHCR
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STORY: GREECE / SYRIAN REFUGEE PARALYMPIC
TRT: 1:51
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTION: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / GREEK / ENGLISH

DATELINE: 25 JULY 2017, ATHENS, GREECE
SHOTLIST
1. Various pictures of Najib getting ready to train
2. UPSOUND (Greek) Trainer:
“On your mark… Get set! Go!”
3. Point of View from Najib’s wheelchair
4. Wide shot, Najib and his trainer on the track
5. UPSOUND (English) Trainer:
“Go, go go!”
6. Close up, moving shot of Najib’s wheelchair
7. Pan shot, Najib training
8. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Najib Alhaj Ali, Syrian refugee:
“We were on our way to the basement and a bomb hit the second floor and I was injured.”
9. Med shot, Najib’s wheelchair during his training
10. UPSOUND: Trainer (English):
“Push, push…! go, go go…!”
11. Wide shot, Najib training
12. UPSOUND (English) Trainer:
“Push, push, you can do more!”
13. Med shot, Najib’s father giving his son a drink of water
14. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Talal Alhaj Ali, Najib’s father:
“Before Najib started training he was hurting everywhere. He was always tired. As soon as he started training he became very active again.”
15. Close up, Najib training
16. Wide shot, Najib training while his coach runs beside him
17. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Najib Alhaj Ali, Syrian refugee:
“I have grown to love this sport and my trainer.”
18. Tilt up of coach talking to Najib
19. UPSOUND (English) Trainer:
“When you go onto the bent, you can do this, OK? If you go on a strait, do this! All right?”
20. SOUNDBITE (English) Vasilis Kalyvas, Hellenic Paralympic Committee Trainer:
“His mom was telling me that since he started doing that his mind is focused only on that, he has big thoughts about his sports future in Para sports.”
21. Various shots, Vasilis talking with Najib
22. SOUNDBITE (English) Vasilis Kalyvas, Hellenic Paralympic Committee Trainer:
“It’s an opportunity for them to start getting out of this traumatic experience.”
23. Wide shot, Vasilis helping Najib to turn his wheelchair around
24. UPSOUND (English) Trainer:
“Go there one more time, and we are finished, OK?”
25. Med shot, Najib training while his brother Mohamed, runs beside him
STORYLINE
This is how Paralympic sports are helping empower a 13-year-old refugee boy from Syria.

Najib’s spinal cord was injured when his home came under bomb attack 2 years ago.

He’s been wheelchair-bound ever since.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Najib Alhaj Ali, Syrian refugee:
“We were on our way to the basement and a bomb hit the second floor and I was injured.”

A few months ago he discovered the power of sports.

When he joined the first-ever Paralympic refugee training team in Greece.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Talal Alhaj Ali, Najib’s father:
“Before Najib started training he was hurting everywhere. He was always tired. As soon as he started training he became very active again.”

Najib trains with Vasilis 3 times a week at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. He has fallen in love this sport.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Najib Alhaj Ali, Syrian refugee:
“I have grown to love this sport and my trainer.”

Vasilis sees a lot of potential in his young athlete.

SOUNDBITE (English) Vasilis Kalyvas, Hellenic Paralympic Committee Trainer:
“His mom was telling me that since he started doing that his mind is focused only on that, he has big thoughts about his sports future in Para sports.”

The experienced coach knows that training helps to heal psychological wounds.

SOUNDBITE (English) Vasilis Kalyvas, Hellenic Paralympic Committee Trainer:
“It’s an opportunity for them to start getting out of this traumatic experience.”

Najib dreams of travelling the world as a competitive wheelchair racer.

And to inspire other refugees with disabilities.

Najib Alhaj Ali fled Syria in a wheelchair after his home in Homs came under bomb attack, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. The 13-year-old braved the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece in a rubber dinghy, where he and his family were granted asylum in 2016. In November, Najib signed up for a pilot Paralympic education project supported by the Hellenic Paralympic Committee, the Agitos Foundation’s Grant Support Programme, Athens University and UNHCR. The project is helping to empower refugees with disabilities by giving them the chance to learn about para sports, and to train and compete in national competitions.
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