Palestinian uses art therapy to overcome trauma of paralysis

Karima al-Najjar uses art therapy to overcome trauma of paralysis (Mohammed Asad - MEMO)

Mohammed Asad

Middle East Monitor  /  April 15, 2021

Karima al-Najjar sits in her wheelchair and draws well-known Arab figures using a paper and pencil, it was her way to overcome the trauma she suffered as a result of an accident in her teens.

Karima sits in her wheelchair and draws well-known Arab figures using a paper and pencil, it was her way to overcome the trauma she suffered as a result of an accident in her teens.

The 30-year-old fell from the fourth floor when she was 17. She received incorrect treatment after the fall and her health deteriorated, she tells MEMO. “Five months after the accident, I went to Jerusalem and I underwent an operation, but my health did not improve and the doctor told me that I would be in a wheelchair for life.”

“I suffered a nervous breakdown.”

Karima had dreamed of becoming a broadcaster but felt this was no longer within reach so she channelled her energy into her hobbies; drawing and singing.

Living in a conservative society in Gaza, Karima didn’t feel she would find support in pursuing a career in music so she began to draw and found much praise for her work when she posted it online.

“My first drawing was of an eye, because eyes express more and reveal more than the tongue,” she says. “It took months before I was able to perfect drawing characters. “

“I realised that a person has to overcome all his/her circumstances, to live life. If they have a talent, they must work to develop it without fear, and prove to the world that they are capable of creativity and to achieve success.”

Mohammed Asad is MEMO’s correspondent based in Gaza