Find­ing real-life in­spi­ra­tion

Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Karen Pasquali Jones, Edi­tor kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

H er eyes sparkle, her nat­u­rally mis­chievous per­son­al­ity shines through, and her gig­gle is in­fec­tious to those who know her. Yet some peo­ple who looked at Mara sim­ply saw her Down’s syn­drome and not the pretty, clever, happy lit­tle girl she is. Strangers thought it was OK to cluck sym­pa­thet­i­cally, “Oh she’s not too badly af­fected is she?” – which made Mara’s mother fu­ri­ous.

Luck­ily, in­stead of be­com­ing up­set Michelle Clark used her anger to launch a cam­paign to make peo­ple see past her daugh­ter’s con­di­tion and re­alise she is a real person. The Mara Is Mara Face­book page went vi­ral and has been seen by peo­ple around the world.

Its ed­u­ca­tional mes­sage has helped count­less oth­ers and made poster boys and girls of beau­ti­ful ba­bies and chil­dren who are now be­ing recog­nised for who they are and not what con­di­tion they have. Read Mara’s story on page 16 – one of the in­cred­i­ble real-life sto­ries in our spe­cial is­sue this week.

We also have the story of dogs that can help their nar­colep­tic own­ers on page 28, the Dubai-based hypnotherapist who cured a rob­bery vic­tim’s panic at­tacks on page 32 and the mother whose cre­ativ­ity has re­sulted in a baby photo al­bum like none other on page 40. There is also a fas­ci­nat­ing fea­ture on fren­e­mies on page 36 – scar­ily, there is an abun­dance of these so-called ‘friends’ in the UAE.

Un­til next week,

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