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Strength Of Mind Brings Them to Finish Line


Visual impairment has not hindered Khairullah Affarouk Paiman, 37, from realising his ambition of becoming a lecturer. Born in Felda Pemanis, Segamat in Johor, he now holds a Master’s Degree in Bahasa Melayu from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). He was among 945 graduates who received their scrolls at the first session of UPM’s 44th convocation ceremony at the main hall of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Culture and Arts Centre in Serdang, Selangor.

When met by Bernama, Khairullah Affarouk said his visual impairment since the age of 13 had motivated him to pursue his studies to the highest level.

“I was hit by a ball and it damaged my optical nerves. “The doctor told me that it could not be repaired. “From then on, I joined a special education school to learn Braille. “It was quite a challenge. “It took me six months to learn Braille and now, I am one step away from getting a PhD,” he said.

Khairullah Affarouk owes his success to UPM’s state-of-the-art technology such as the Braille embosser printer, which he said made it easier for him to obtain information. “Materials can be sourced from the Internet and I spend a lot of time in the library because the facilities there are disabled-friendly,” he said. Sharing Khairullah Affarouk’s spirit to succeed is former national sepak takraw player Muhammad Kamal Ishak, 29, who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from UPM.

Kamal, who was left partially paralysed after a road accident in 2019, said his main motivators were his wife, Nik Nurzilawatie Nik Wil, 29, and two-year-old daughter Nur Assyifa Media.

“After the accident, I was bedridden and could not move. “My family took care of me during that initial period of almost four months. “After undergoing physiotherapy, I was able to move my hands and sit in a wheelchair while studying. “And now, I am a graduate!” he exclaimed excitedly.

Kamal said online learning implemented in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order was a blessing in disguise as he did not have to be physically present for classes at the university.

“All lessons were held online, including the state sports school industrial training. “We only had to go to the school once a week,” he said. The Bukit Mertajam native intends to contribute to the field of sepak takraw as a coach or sports analyst.

“I miss playing sepak takraw and I wish to continue contributing to the sport. “Sepak takraw has been my passion since I was a child,” said Kamal, who has represented the country in various tournaments.

Among his achievements was winning a silver medal for Malaysia at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. — Bernama


Resources: The Star

Date of Input: 14/01/2022 | Updated: 14/01/2022 | aslamiah


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