WHEN I STARTED NGO

So, I decided instead of starting an NGO for disability awareness which I know will not help anyone, I started to appear more in public. I started to paint. I always wanted to. I have done a lot of exhibitions, I am Pakistan’s first wheelchair-bound artist. I have done a lot of modeling campaigns, different campaigns for brands like Toni & Guy.
I have done some really funny breaking the barriers kinds of modeling. There was this one by the name ClownTown where I became a clown because I know that clowns have hearts too.
And then I also decided that if I really want to make a difference, I am not going to let people use me for their pull your campaigns where they will make you a victim or an emblem of misery and mercy and will say that, you know what, give all your drops to your children or they will become like this girl.
I decided that I am going to join the National TV of Pakistan as an anchor person. And I have been doing a lot of shows for the last three years.
So, when you accept yourself the way you are, the world recognizes you. It all starts from within.
I became the national goodwill ambassador for UN Women, Pakistan. And now I speak for the rights of women and children. We talk about inclusion, diversity, gender equality which is a must.

WHEN I SAID YES

And when I said “Yes” , I could literally feel the labor pain. Yes. Yes, I am going to adopt him. I am coming to take him home.
And when I reached there, the man was sitting and he was looking at me from head to toe. And in back of my head, I kept thinking that, oh my God, he is going to say she is on the wheelchair. She doesn’t deserve it. How is she going to take care of him?
And I looked at him and I said, “Do not judge me because I am on the wheel chair. But you know what he said, “I know you will be the best mother of this child. You both are lucky to have each other.”
And that day, he was two days old and today he is six.
You will be surprised to know another bigger fear that I had in me. It was facing people. I used to hide myself from people. When I was on bed for two years I used to keep the door closed. I used to pretend that I am not going to meet anyone. Tell them I am sleeping.
You know why? Because I couldn’t stand that sympathy that they had for me. They used to treat me like a patient. When I used to smile, they used to look at me and say that you are smiling, are you OK’.
I was tired of this question being asked. Are you sick? Well, a lady at the airport asked me, ‘Are you sick’. And I said, well, besides the spinal cord injury, I am fine. I guess.
But those are really cute questions. They never used to feel cute when I was on the bed.
So I used to hide myself from people knowing that, Oh my God I am not going to see that sympathy in their eyes. It’s all right. And today, I am here speaking to all these amazing people. Because I have overcome the fear.
You know when you end up being on the wheelchair, what’s the most painful thing? That’s another fear, that people on the wheelchair, or the people who are differently abled have in their hearts but they never share. I will share that with you. The lack of acceptance. People think that they will not be accepted by the people because we and the world of perfect people are imperfects.

OVERCOMING FEARS


OVERCOMING FEARS
And you know how it all began. That day I decided that I am going to fight my fears. We all have fears. Fear of unknown, fear of known. Fear of losing people. Fear of losing health, money. We want to excel in career. We want to become famous. We want get money. We are scared all the time.
So I wrote down one by one, all those fears. And I decided that I am going to overcome these fears one at a time. You know what was my biggest fear? Divorce. I couldn’t stand this word.
I was trying to cling on to this person who didn’t want me anymore. But I said no, I have to make it work. But the day I decided that this is nothing but my fear, I liberated myself by setting him free. And I made myself emotionally so strong that the day I got news that he is getting married, I sent him a text and said, “I am so happy for you and I wish you all the best”. And he knows that I pray for him today.
My biggest fear number two was: I won’t be able to be a mother again, and that was quite devastating for me. But then I realized there are so many children in the world, all they want is acceptance. So there is no point of crying, just go and adopt one. That’s what I did.
I gave my name in different organizations, different orphanages. I didn’t mention that I am on a wheelchair, dying to have a child. So I just told them that this is Muniba Mazari and she wants to adopt a boy or girl whatsoever. But I wanted to adopt a kid.
And I waited patiently. Two years later, I got this call from a very small city in Pakistan. I got a call and they said, “Are you Muniba Mazari? There is a baby boy. Would you like to adopt?”

TURNING POINT


There are always turning points in your life. There was a rebirth day that I celebrated. After two years and two and half months when I was able to sit on a wheel chair, that was the day when I had the rebirth.
I was a completely different person. I still remember, the day I sat on the wheelchair for the first time knowing that I am never going to leave this, knowing that I won’t be able to walk for the rest of my life, I saw myself in the mirror and I talked to my self.
And I still remember what I said. I cannot wait for a miracle to come and make me walk. I cannot sit in the corner of the room crying, cripping and begging for mercy because nobody has time.
So I have to accept myself the way I am, the sooner the better. So, I applied the lip color for the first time. And I erased it. And I cried and I said what am I doing. A person on a wheelchair should not do this. What will people say? Clean it up. Put it again. This time I put it for myself.
Because I wanted to feel perfect from within. And that day I decided I am going to life of myself. I am not going to be that perfect person for someone. I am just going to take this moment and I will make it perfect for myself.

DEAR FRIEND

My dear friends, in my situation, there was a tunnel that I had to roll on but there was no light. And that is where I realized that words have the power to heal the soul. My mother said to me, “This too shall pass. God has a greater plan for you. I don’t know what it is. But he surely has.”
And in all that distress and grief, somehow or the other, those words were so magical that they kept me going.
I was trying to put that smile on my face all the time, was hiding. It was so hard to hide the pain which was there. But all I knew was that if I will give up, my mother and my brothers will give up too. I cannot see them crying with me.
So what kept me going was, one day I asked my brothers, I know, I have a deformed hand but I am tired of looking at these white walls in the hospital and wearing these white scraps. I am getting tired of this. I want to add more colors to my life. I want to do something. Bring me some colors, bring me some small candles; I want to paint.
So the very first painting I made was on my deathbed where I painted for the very first time. It was not just an art piece or just my passion. It was my therapy. What an amazing therapy it was. Without uttering a single word, I could paint my heart out. I could share my story.
People used to come and say, ‘What a lovely painting!” So much color, nobody see the grief in it. Only I could.
So that’s how I spent my two and half months in my hospital, crying never complaining or whining but painting.
And then I was discharged. And I went back home.
And I went back home and I realized that I have developed a lot of pressure ulcers on my back and on my hipbone. I was unable to sit. There were a lot of infections in my body, a lot of allergies.
So doctors wanted me to lie down on the bed straight. For not six months, for not 1 year, but for two years; I was bed ridden, confined in that one room, looking outside the window, listening to the birds chirping, and thinking maybe there will be a time when we will be going out with the family and enjoying the nature.
That was the time where I realized how lucky people are but they don’t realize. That is the time where I realized that, the day I going to sit, I am going to share this pain with everyone to make them realize how blessed they are and they even don’t consider them lucky.
My dear friends, in my situation, there was a tunnel that I had to roll on but there was no light. And that is where I realized that words have the power to heal the soul. My mother said to me, “This too shall pass. God has a greater plan for you. I don’t know what it is. But he surely has.”
And in all that distress and grief, somehow or the other, those words were so magical that they kept me going.
I was trying to put that smile on my face all the time, was hiding. It was so hard to hide the pain which was there. But all I knew was that if I will give up, my mother and my brothers will give up too. I cannot see them crying with me.
So what kept me going was, one day I asked my brothers, I know, I have a deformed hand but I am tired of looking at these white walls in the hospital and wearing these white scraps. I am getting tired of this. I want to add more colors to my life. I want to do something. Bring me some colors, bring me some small candles; I want to paint.
So the very first painting I made was on my deathbed where I painted for the very first time. It was not just an art piece or just my passion. It was my therapy. What an amazing therapy it was. Without uttering a single word, I could paint my heart out. I could share my story.

KEEP HER


Most Inspirational Speech by Muniba Mazari (Full Transcript)

And now there was this debate going on, should we keep it here, she is going to die, or where should we go, there is no ambulance. There was this four-wheeler jeep standing in the corner of the street. They said, “Put her in the back of the jeep and take her to the hospital which is 3 hours away from this place”.
And I still remember that bumpy ride. I was all broken. They threw me at the back of the jeep and they rushed me to the hospital. That is where I realized that my half body was fractured and half was paralyzed.
I finally ended up in a hospital where I stayed for two and half months. I underwent multiple surgeries. Doctors have put a lot of titanium in my arm and there was a lot of titanium at my back to fix my back. That’s why people in Pakistan called me the ‘Iron Lady’ of Pakistan.
Sometimes I wonder how easy it is for me to describe all this all over again. And somebody has rightly said that when you share your story and it doesn’t make you cry, that means you are healed.
Those two and half months in the hospital were dreadful. I will not make up stories just to inspire you. I was at the verge of despair.
One day doctor came to me, and he said, “Well, I heard that you wanted to be an artist, but you ended up being a housewife. I have a bad news for you. You won’t be able to paint again, because your wrist and arm are so deformed you won’t be able to hold the pen again.”
And I stayed quiet.
Next day, doctor came to me and said, “Your spine injury is so bad you won’t be able to walk again”.
I took a deep breath. And I said, it’s all right.
Next day doctor came and said, “Because of your spine injury and the fixation that you have in your back, you won’t be able to give birth to a child again.”
That day, I was devastated. I still remember, I asked my mother, why me, and that is where I started to question my existence:  Why am I even alive? What’s the point of living? I cannot walk, I cannot paint, fine. I cannot be a mother and we have this thing in our head being women that we are incomplete without having children. I am going to be an incomplete woman for the rest of my life. What’s the point?
People are scared that they think I will get divorced. What is going to happen to me? Why me? Why am I alive?
We all try to chase this tunnel. We all do this. Because we see light in the end of the tunnel which keeps us going.