In 2019, I married a wonderful woman who lived in the Kingdom of Sweden. My new wife had a disabled five-year-old son, Kerim. He was born with a congenital deformity, paralysis of half of his face, autism and breathes through the laryngeal tube.
From the moment I met Kerim, I felt that he symbolized both weakness and strength. While his body is weak, unable to move or freely express his feelings, he constantly challenges himself to make the best of his situation. He shows passion and empathy through his eyes, his smiles, and his tears.
The COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be another obstacle for him. Being quarantined in his bedroom for his own safety meant that he would have a lot less social interaction than he was accustomed to which invariably affected his mental health too. With our continual love and support, things turned around for Kerim and he started expressing his love for life again.
Kerim overcame his fear and challenged his disability, something I find truly inspiring. In fact, it encouraged me to think outside the usual narrow path and explore different avenues where I could help other people like Kerim through my artistic, cultural, and literary work.
This is how the 'Hope International Film Festival' came to be. Quality films, gripping storylines and thought-provoking topics will be the essence of this film festival. All of this, to provide support for those with disabilities and the underprivileged.
Stockholm, the capital of The Kingdom of Sweden, has been selected as the natural home for the launch of the Hope International Film Festival. Why? Simply because the Kingdom of Sweden, its government, and its people have a well-earned global reputation for supporting human rights and people with disabilities.