Soap with a hint of a smile!
The smell of soap in the soap house in Jabal Amman is mixed with the determination and will of Muhammad and the sweet scent of of his smile that rarely leaves his face. Thirty one year old Mohammed has been working for the Soap House team since October 2015, three days a week from 9:00 to 12:30.
Every morning, Muhammad fills the soap boxes and scented wicks with meticulous precision. His colleagues at work rave of his commitment to the instructions given to him. Although his work may appear too repetitive and boring to some, Mohammed relishes that routine with a sense of humor that emerges through his constant contact with clients adding a new fragrance to the soap house.
Muhammad is committed to working in the soap house three days a week. During the rest of the week, Muhammad goes back to his previous special needs' school - the Families & Friends of Persons with Disabilities - where he learns to read, write and use computers. Mohammad also knows how to use the loom which he learnt at Nazek Hariri Center when he was younger as well as beading work.
Today Mohammed is breaking all the stereotypes that our society places for people with disabilities, especially people with Down Syndrome. He works at a monthly wage, has mastered more than one craft, as well as practicing Taekwondo three times a week which resulted in him earning the blue belt.
The success of persons with disabilities in our societies cannot be achieved without their families' belief in their abilities and their perseverance to show the world their abilities over their disability. Muhannad's sister Nidaa says: "I do not set a limit for Muhammad's progress. Every day he impresses me with his abilities."
She adds that despite her belief in Mohammed's abilities, she never expected Muhammad to get a job. "The biggest challenge we face as a family are not internal, but rather from society's view of people with special needs. Although they have improved recently, they still pose a challenge to the progress and development of many people in our society."
The owner of Soap House talks of the positive atmosphere that Mohammad brought with him. "We aim at The Soap House to give people with special needs the opportunity they need because we believe in their different abilities. In our work, we do not care about the quantity of production as much as we care about the quality of production. The participation of people like Mohamed enriches our work and improves its quality"
"Mohammed is doing his job in an exemplary way, which confirms our decision to include Mohammed in the Soap House team. "