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Dubai: Women like Sumaya Al Zarooni show us how drive and compassion will take you the extra mile to achieve your dreams. Due to a medical error at birth, she has a brain paralysis that affects motor skills and muscle development, but she hasn’t let this stop her from becoming a recognised artist and philanthropist in the UAE.

Sumaya said: “I learnt how to paint from my late father. I was imitating his work and then I developed my work to have my own style.”

Now at 33 years old and a member of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment (SME) for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, she is known as the Ambassador of Challenge.

Al Zarooni graduated with a project diploma and 12 training courses from SME and she owns her own painting project under the name “Urjwan”, meaning Purple Frames in Arabic.

She said: “All my painting goes to charity. All I do is volunteer with my personal efforts.”

SME is facilitating everything for her because of her disability, and they gave her the license to continue her charitable work.

Sumaya said: “I have gone through difficulties and needs, and I want to help others so they will not go through the same suffering. I love to see the smiles on the faces, I am not looking for fame or profit, I volunteer with excitement and positivity.”

Her efforts have been well received by the community and the Al Ihsan Charitable Centre, the Red Crescent and Green Shaikh charities for her contributions. She has been awarded many a times by Al Issan, the Al Ain Club, the Dubai Police and Green Shaikh.

With her late father’s gift and drive to do good in her community, Sumaya has shown that we can do anything we put our minds to.

“All these achievements aren’t just for me, it is for my beloved UAE and our leadership ...it is our duty to give back to this country.”