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Blind Female Weightlifter From Damietta Places First in Africa

Minnie Bayeet overcame barriers to return as Africa's weightlifting champion.

Staff Writer

Blind Female Weightlifter From Damietta Places First in Africa

Last Friday, on November 22nd, female weightlifter Minnie Bayeet placed first in the African Blind Weightlifting Championship, and 2nd for the World Championship, according to Cairo24.

"I've never had much athletic ability, but I've always been able to write poetry and sing," Bayeet said to El Watan News. "Until Captain Amad Abdel Aziz discovered me and got me into weightlifting. Filled with determination and effort, I went through a lot of testing and training until I achieved these fantastic results."

Bayeet's visual impairment was diagnosed when she was four months old, and since then she had struggled with an environment that could not always meet her needs.

"We tried a lot of surgeries... I tried to study in a normal school and I was rejected, until the school An Noor Weh Al Amal for the blind opened, which gave me a lot of hope," Bayeet recalled. "I studied there until I finished high school, and I returned as an Arabic language teacher after I earned my Faculty of Arts diploma."

"The textbooks were only for people who could see, so I needed someone to read to me. I had the help of my relatives and neighbours to help me study," Bayeet continued. "I wanted to get to higher education, but the resources for the blind were not there. But even as one in seven children and the daughter of a simple fisherman, my family gave me all the support they could give."

After receiving her medals, Minnie Bayeet returned to her village of Ananeya in the Damietta governate, where the residents proudly celebrated her hard-earned victory.