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Joweria Suleiman becomes 1st blind Egyptian student to obtain IB degree with distinction

Joweria Suleiman has become the first blind Egyptian student to obtain the International Baccalaureate (IB) degree with distinction.

Suleiman stated her blindness was caused by a rare genetic disease that had stumped doctors.

After diagnosing the disease, she met a woman who had a blind son with the same illness, who traveled to Canada and raised him there. He graduated from an engineering college, and learned from his experience how to rehabilitate people with disabilities to integrate into society.

In a Thursday phone call with the “Sabah al-Ward” program, Suleiman explained that this woman founded an organization named “Baseera” which taught her everything she needed to know. These included exercising her senses to make up for her lost sight, using her touch to learn Braille, and life skills such as eating and dressing on her own.

She can also use all the devices that help her in education.

Suleiman said that her mother now works at Baseera, helping to share what she learned daughter’s education journey with others.

Her mother was adamant about integrating her into society since her childhood, Suleiman added, explaining, “The issue was difficult, it was not rosy. But learning these skills was a necessity. The biggest difficulty I faced was the inability of some teachers and students to accept the idea of integrating us, and being subjected to bullying. Lack of understanding is the problem, and when teachers and students understand, they are impressed by the experience.”


Aiding the blind

The Executive Director of the Baseera association, Doaa Mabrouk, said that Suleiman’s great academic achievement proves that visual impairment does not impact academic achievement, and that genius and excellence, if nurtured, can bear fruit regardless of the presence of disabilities.

Baseera sought to rely on those principles to build its work strategy in following the latest scientific methods, supporting the integration of children with visual impairments in regular educational classes alongside their peers.

Since its inception, the organization has aimed to adopt a business strategy based on the importance of rehabilitating and training children with visual impairments, according to the state-of-the-art training programs at the hands of international experts in this field.

Its ultimate aim is encouraging independence for a child with visual impairment, thereby reintroducing them to society as a productive individual.


What is the IB degree?

The IB system is one of the most famous academic systems in the world.

The system provides opportunities for admission to a large number of prestigious and highest-ranked international universities globally, through full integration of all students within one semester that includes everyone and with one curricula for all, without the slightest distinction between them.

Blind students undergo the same exams in all scientific and literary subjects, with no change except for converting them into Braille or a computer-speaking one.

The program enjoys wide international recognition and acceptance, spread in 150 different countries around the world.

The system works to develop the students’ personality by supporting their independence in learning and enables them to acquire various skills such as the ability to think, analyze, research, communicate and creative abilities, all while preserving their principles and values.



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