Rahma Khaled, a 22-year-old swimmer and Paralympic gold medalist with Down’s Syndrome expressed happiness over signing a contract with DMC channel to host a program dubbed “8 AM” starting Tuesday.
“I am flying with joy. I cannot believe that my dream since I was 8 years old will come true,” Khaled told Al-Watan newspaper, in her first comment on the contract.
She added that DMC officials had put her under test cameras since January, expressing admiration for her performance and her desire to learn. They decided to provide training for her to develop her skills to reach a professional level, Khaled said.
Film producer Hisham Suleiman, head of the DMC, announced one week ago that Khaled would broadcast the 8 AM program on the channel. On her first appearance, Khaled will host the head of the National Council for Women Maya Morsi.
Khaled, the first Egyptian presenter with Down’s Syndrome, confirmed that she had received theoretical and practical training for three days a week since January 23 by media professors, including Maher Mostafa, who passed away a few months ago. Mostafa trained her on the right pronunciation of Arabic letters and on how to coordinate with her fellow broadcasters.
According to Khaled that these steps increased her conviction that nothing is impossible with a strong will, adding that she received multiple training courses in the past three years in the media field to develop her skills as a broadcaster.
She picked work in the media field as it is the fastest way to improve the image of people with special needs and prove they can work in all sorts of professions, Khaled said.
Khaled added that she dreams of directing a film about people with Down’s Syndrome, and hopes it could even compete in international festivals.
Khaled graduated from the Department of Tourism Studies at al-Alsun Institute for Tourism and Hotel Management in 2018. She drew attention through her outstanding performance in swimming, tennis and basketball competitions.
In 2010 and 2011, she won first place in the Paralympics Swimming Championships and won the 2010’s Egyptian Swimming Championship.
She attended a youth conference held in Lebanon in 2018 as an official spokesperson for the people with special needs.