Mehdi Kamari and Masoumeh Zara'atgar

Each one of us has repeatedly drawn plans and designs in our minds, plans and designs which could have been good and dreamlike or even decadent and corrupt. Nevertheless, there are some individuals who spend much of their lives in planning for the welfare and development of their fellow human beings. In fact, they make constructive plans for providing further welfare for us. We have selected one of the most professional planners to be interviewed in this edition of our journal. This gentleman has obtained top ranks in international competitions and exhibitions in France, South Korea, and India. His name is Mehdi Kamari. He is an engineer. Born in 1980, Mehdi is originally from Kermanshah. He is a student of Project Management Engineering. Some 10 years ago, he married Masoumeh Zara'atgar. His wife has a BA in Educational Sciences. For many years, Masoumeh was an employee of Ra'd Institute in Shahrak-e Gharb District of Tehran. Currently, she is an instructor of table setting and table decoration in the municipality headquarter of the district in which they are living. She has been the winner of a couple of food competition festivals inside and outside of Iran. Their son, Ali, is 8 years old. Due to being afflicted by polio fever during their childhood, the couple are now disabled individuals and they have problems with their right legs. Mehdi and Masoumeh are involved in extensive social activities and they have been quite successful in their social lives. We have made an interview with this successful and capable couple. Here is the text of this interview:

Working in a temperature of 45 degrees Celsius

At the beginning of this interview, Mehdi says: "All these developments started after I registered in the planning and designing classes of Ra'd Institute. Honestly speaking, this institute provided appropriate educational courses for disabled individuals. The majority of the successes that I have achieved in my life are rooted in this institute. It was in the Ra'd Institute that I witnessed the emergence of good developments in my life. I got acquainted with my wife in Ra'd Institute. My marriage, my participation in international competitions, and my travel abroad created fundamental changes in my life. After finishing my education and courses, I was unfortunately unable to be employed in public and governmental organizations and offices. I had received numerous certificates from different authorities; however, I was unable to find a job in a governmental organization, because of my physical disability. However, I did not give up and left no stones unturned. I endeavored studiously to find a job. One of the engineers who witnessed my studious efforts, introduced me to work in industrial mapping in the Assalouyeh Region. I went to the Assalouyeh Region and worked in the harsh climatic condition of that region, where temperature was as high as 45 degrees Celsius."

Elsewhere in this interview, Mehdi refers to the importance of family and argues that an individual's family plays a vitally important role in the development of that individual's personality. Mehdi Says: "I have three brothers and, since my childhood, my parents have never made a distinction between me and my other brothers. They did all they could in order to meet all my needs and requirements. Their kindness and their warm behavior helped me to be able to tackle with all the problems and difficulties of my life. When my parents were informed that I am supposed to go to the Assalouyeh Region to find a job there, they did not make any opposition. As a result, I became determined to demonstrate myself and exhibit my potentials and capabilities. I decided to make a shift in my ways of life and my lifestyle. Therefore, I adopted my first steps toward the beginning of this difficult journey. By adopting small, but continuous, steps in our lives, we can achieve significant material and spiritual successes."

Mehdi refers to his specialty as a designer and says: "A piece of large white sheet of paper, a ruler, and a couple of pencils are the only instruments required for drawing and designing. The best designs for life cannot be created by one single person. Two persons are required for such designs, i.e. a lover and a beloved. In this way, we can design for a better tomorrow. Our son, Ali, is the epicenter of all the developments in our lives. We are doing our best in order to provide him with the best education and we believe that he can become a very skillful doctor. Ali has pointed out that he wants to become a skillful surgeon. Ali is a very valuable treasure for us. He was bestowed to us by the almighty God some 8 years ago. We will do our best in order to help Ali materialize his objectives in life."

The disabled people's expertise is not limited within boundaries

Mehdi pointed out: "Abilympic competitions is an international competition that is held every 4 years. It is, in fact, a kind of Olympic for disabled people in terms of their expertise and skills. Since the inception of the 6th round of these international competitions, Iran has participated in them. A team from the Ra'd Institute participated in Abilympic competitions. I participated in this international event in the field of construction and industrial designing in India in 2002 and won the silver medal. I won the gold medals of Abilympic competitions of 2011 and 2016 in South Korea and France, respectively."


Elsewhere in this interview, Mehdi said: "There are some memories and feelings that are common among disabled individuals. All disabled people who have suffered from issues such as: transportation problems; difficulties in rainy and snowy weather; improper WCs in schools and universities; and hardships of climbing stairs in governmental buildings and organizations. It is quite disappointing that even in newly built offices, too, nothing has been done for the easy movement of disabled people. There is not even a ramp in these buildings for easing the transportation of the disabled people who cannot climb the stairs. Of course, the majority of disabled individuals have got themselves accustomed to such shortcomings and defects. They have found out solutions for tackling with these problems. For instance, I can jump over a runlet or small trench by using my walking sticks only. I have learnt such jumping after too many falling downs. But our problems are not limited in the abovementioned ones. Unemployment is still a major problem for disabled individuals. A large number of disabled people who have no jobs have kept themselves isolated. Governmental organizations and departments should be criticized because they have created numerous obstacles for the employment of disabled people. These organizations and departments create little job opportunities for the disabled people. On the contrary, the private sector has managed to create 90 percent of jobs allocated to disabled individuals. In fact, private entities provide more support for the employment of the disabled people."

Final remarks

As his final remarks, Mehdi pointed out: "Days and nights pass by. Nobody is born to this world to experience merely happiness. No one knows what is his or her destiny in future. Nobody knows what we should give up in our lives. Our disabled friends should not concentrate on interpreting the very untoward incident that has befallen on them in their lives. Rather, they should utilize all their capabilities in order to be seen in the society and make a shift in the people's attitude toward the disabled individuals. We should get ourselves distanced from stressful developments in our lives. Through strengthening our patience and tolerance, we can introduce ourselves as capable and efficient personalities."  

Thursday 2019/3/7
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Mehdi Kamari and Masoumeh Zara'atgar

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