Shaikha Al Jassasi is a name that's been on everyone's list of “most inspiring Omanis”, whose ambition, determination, and love of knowledge surpassed her own and many others’ expectations. She is now the first visually-impaired woman to earn a Master of Business Administration degree here in Oman.
Shaikha is an ambitious young woman who allows nothing to stand in the way of her success. She is a role model for those who let their fear and inner-saboteur crush their dreams. With the help of Allah the Almighty, and her hard work, she is officially celebrating her graduation and receiving her certificate this coming July.
The recent graduate has earned her degree in translation from Sultan Qaboos University, but she later found out that her true passion lies within the business industry, where she can take on adventurous roles. “I love business, business management, leadership and development, and management, and was always inspired by such fields, so I decided to study the speciality,” she said.
Shaikha knew from the get-go that she might face difficulties with admissions to certain universities and colleges due to her disability, but she continued to fight for a spot. She tried to enrol in a number of colleges but her attempts failed, until she found the perfect place that accommodated her and embraced her talent.
She was admitted to Majan College, which offered her a degree in association with the University of Bedfordshire. She wasn’t only accepted, but the school guaranteed the provision of necessary facilities.
As with any new adventure, challenges are expected. “Of course, there were many challenges; for example, the books are sometimes unreadable, because I read through the computer. If the book has a picture, the computer cannot read it,” said Shaikha, adding that accessing information can also become challenging, especially if the data or material is in charts or graphic form, which results in her putting extra efforts to focus.
Despite all the challenges, Shaikha is also an employee.
With a little help from her beloved family and friends, and the positive environment surrounding her at work and school, she managed to overcome the challenges and became motivated and even more eager to fight to the finish line. Everyone was just proud of her undaunted sense of purpose.
Shaikha’s journey isn’t over, as the young woman is already planning to complete her Doctorate directly after her Masters, if opportunities arise. Except this time around, she wants to apply for a degree in the UK, because of the availability of facilities for the visually-impaired. And, she will get to her desired speciality.
“I would like to advise the visually-impaired to trust themselves and their abilities and to fight for their goals,” said Shaikha, adding, “Also, do not allow the constraints of society to limit your desires.”
As she continues to urge the visually-impaired to never give up and to have patience, strength, and unshakable willpower, the rest continue to admire her journey. She is a true beacon of hope for many people around Muscat, and will always be one in the years to come. [email protected]