EGYPTIAN MAN SHARES HIS AMAZING FAITH ON SAT-7
“I thank the Lord for all the wonderful things He did in my life. In the beginning, I blamed Him for my situation and compared myself to other people. But with time and the practice that God put me through, I understood His will in my life.”
These inspiring words were spoken by Waheed Ata, who shared his journey of faith on the SAT-7 ARABIC program Reforming. When Waheed was a baby, he contracted meningitis, which left him blind. He faced a lifetime of disadvantage in Egypt, where people with disabilities often lack support and endure discrimination.
“I WAS IN EMOTIONAL PAIN”
Waheed told viewers that despite his disability and impoverished background, he has always been determined to live a fulfilling life. As a child, he was able to attend school and make friends. A turning point came when a friend introduced Waheed to Braille, and in his early teens he joined a school in Cairo for people who are blind. He learned to play the violin and the oud (a lute-type Middle Eastern instrument) and to use a computer.
But, he explains, “Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was in emotional pain because of people’s looks and comments. Even though I began to achieve my dream of learning, I was in pain because of people’s comments on my disability.”
“THE LORD GIVES JOY AND PEACE”
While at secondary school, Waheed came to faith in Christ. The Lord healed his hurting heart, and Waheed’s life has never been the same.
“I gave up my life to the Lord completely,” he says. “From that day onwards, I’ve never cared about people’s judgments of me, because the Lord taught me to be filled with Him and His blessings. The Lord compensates and gives joy and peace… Thank you Lord for changing the bitterness in my life to singing.”
Waheed passed his high school exams at the top of his class. He later studied history at university, got married, and had a daughter. He works full-time and lives very independently, travelling alone between Cairo and his home region of Minya.
Waheed’s journey is a testament to the transforming power of God’s love. In an amazing show of faith, he says, “It’s enough for me that when my eyes open one day, they will see Jesus Christ first.”
Waheed also shared some encouraging words for viewers of Reforming. “All you who are weary, who feel they don’t have value in society, and who are fearful of people’s comments – give your life to Jesus Christ,” he says. “When He enters your life, He will help you overcome all obstacles and pain.”
Each episode of Reforming features a testimony from a Christian who has overcome challenges and struggles related to disability. The program aims to counter underlying negative attitudes by giving people with disabilities a voice. The show’s Director, Hani Henein from Great Commission Media Ministry, says:
“Every case presented in this program is a life lesson for all of us. [These lessons] cannot be taught theoretically, but only by seeing the wonders of the hand of God in shaping people’s lives.”