In June 7, 1970 Sahar Husseini was born in Palestine. Her mother discovered that her baby was blind around three months old. “I was always reaching for things, I never really looked, but I reached out with my hands. It seemed like I was at the doctor’s office all of the time. Until my parents found out that I was born with congenital Lebers Amerosis, a genetic disease that is usually more common among male children.”
At four years old, Sahar had to move into a boarding school for the blind only visiting her family on weekends, “those early years were difficult. It was really hard being away from my family.” Then at the age of six years old Sahar’s family went through a tragedy with her dad’s passing, their world fell apart.
“Since life had to go on, it did, and we went along with it.” Finally at the age of 14 Sahar was reunited with her family and started attending a regular school for sighted children in their home town, “At first, it was quite a struggle. Everything was new and different. But despite all of the tears, sleepless nights, and obvious discrimination, I made it. It did get easier after that first semester, and I did get back to being first in my class, something I was used to for most of the time at the blind school.”
In 1989, after being rejected in universities in Palestine, Sahar moved to the United States to attend university and lived on her own for the first time, “The University had its own challenges, but in the States, I did not feel the discrimination I felt when I lived in the Middle East. In the beginning, moving away was difficult, but after the first year, I adjusted to life here. I think the culture shock was much harder than any obstacles blindness placed in my way.”
Sahar studied social work at San Diego State University. She earned a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in social work from SDSU. In 1994, she graduated summa cum laude and was selected as outstanding student for the School of Social work and the Department of Health and Human Services. “Normally, I feel uncomfortable talking about my successes because I was raised not to boast. I tell you all of this because I want the world to know that blindness really is a characteristic, and not a handicap. I set my mind for success, and I was successful. Winston Churchill said that “Attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference.” Sahar now works as a teacher of Braille and adaptive technology to blind adults and provide counseling to clients adjusting to blindness.
But Sahar’s inspirational story doesn’t end here; she went on to pursue her true passion for jewelry design. “I have always loved jewelry. I loved wearing it, looking at it, knowing how it’s made, Etc., but I never thought I could actually make it. I made designs in my dreams, but they were just dreams. In April 1999, I was living in Alaska, and I worked with a woman named Mary. It was April 9, 1999, and I was sitting at her table after dinner. Mary brought out her beads and told me to play. Ten minutes into it, I started talking to the beads, or perhaps, they started talking to me. No, I’m not crazy. I designed a blue and white necklace, and I have not stopped designing jewelry since that day. I created my Website, www.saharscreations.com in 2002 and began selling online. After I got married and bought my home, Ed, my husband, built me a few displays, and I have a showroom at home now, where people can come and shop.” Sahar’s inspiration for her designs comes from the beads she touches, or a focal point she finds that triggers the design, and then, the idea grows into a piece of jewelry.
“I had a drive to succeed for as long as I can remember. Michael Jordan said that “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” I have always believed this and lived it. I don’t give up easily. I dream and want my jewelry business to be known to more than my small circle of friends.”
“Through all of the hardship, I can honestly say that I never wished I were sighted. I was who I was, and I never thought I would be any different. I was curious about colors and how certain things looked, but it was merely curiosity, nothing more. Blindness is what I knew; it is what I know, and I can’t imagine being fully sighted. I am used to being blind. I truly consider blindness an inconvenience, nothing more.”
Finally Sahar signs off with this advice for our readers, “Don’t give up on your dreams. Take it one day at a time. Sometimes, your goals and dreams seem out of reach, but as Brian Littrell said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
Check out Sahar’s jewelry designs:
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