KUWAIT: Faisal Al-Mosawi, an Iraqi resident of Kuwait, was a promising football player at the Salmiya Sporting Club until a serious car accident left him paralyzed in the lower half of his body.
After a series of operations, Mosawi has accepted his disability and has defied the odds by becoming the world's fastest diver.
“Today, I am proud to say that I challenged myself and set a world record as the fastest 10-kilometer scuba diver. I am also a motivational speaker with more than 500 trainees per month,” Mosawi told the Kuwaiti Times.
“I decided two years after my accident to join university and earned a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) diploma in 2007. I continued my studies and began my bachelor’s degree in finance, which helped me get involved in social life again, but I was still feeling frustrated after I lost my dream of becoming a professional football player.“After several operations in the hope to walk again, I realized it was a big mistake to link my happiness to things that may not come back, especially since it cost me time in which I could do something more useful,” Mosawi added.
Mosawi also told Kuwaiti Times about the turning point in his life that led him to pursue an alternative career path.“Every year on my birthday, I was hoping I would be able to walk again. But every year nothing happened, which made me very disappointed,” he said.
“During one of my birthdays, I realized I wanted to change people’s lives and become an inspiration for them, especially after I heard about many disabled people who tried to commit suicide due to their frustrations in life.
“After two years, I decided to either be a new person looking for a new dream that could change my life, or forever remain a useless person, and this was my turning point in becoming a new person with new hopes and dreams.
"This changed my life in all aspects. In 2009, I decided to start learning to dive, I contacted the Swimming and Diving Center at Kuwait Science Club and obtained my first diving license from PADI (scuba diving certificate), while overcoming my fears, one of which was my phobia of the sea.
“After that I got several more diving licenses, such as an open-water license, adventure license, advanced license and night rock diver license,” he added.
After he realized his dream of diving, he decided to become the fastest diver in the world.
“In 2018, I became a Guinness World Record holder as the fastest 10km scuba diver in the world with a time of 5 hours and 24 minutes, breaking a record that was set in 2011 by a scuba diver with no disability,” he said.
Regarding diving techniques, Mosawi explained to the Kuwaiti times that wears diving gloves which he adjusts to the strength of his upper body. He said his biggest challenge was training for over five hours underwater every day.
Mosawi emphasized that the most important message he wishes to convey to the world is the social inclusion of disabled people. He hoped that his accomplishments would demonstrate to the world that people with disabilities are just as capable of success as anyone else.
“The hope that I gave to parents of disabled children makes me more persistent and determined to spread the message to the world. After the accident, doctors told my parents that it will be impossible for me to get married and have kids, but with hope and prayers, I married a special girl. I now have a beautiful daughter, and she is the most precious gift I ever got,” Mosawi said.