From Louise Payton, Senior Rehabilitation Specialist
Tampa, Florida, USA
I've come to know Adil over the past several months by phone and e-mail correspondence. We were initially introduced through a mutual friend who is a graduate student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., USA. Adil has worked for over a year at a telephone company office in Fez, Morocco. He is one of the few employed blind people in this country who has been given the opportunity to work.
As Americans, both blind and sighted, we often take the right to be employed, to attend public school or university, or live fulfilling lives for granted. In other parts of the world, having access to these rights is a luxury if not practically impossible.
Adil's desire is to advance his English language skills by attending the English language institute in Florida. An even higher goal is to take business and related courses at an American university. Adil desires to improve the lives of other blind Moroccans by passing along the skills he acquires. Because many blind people there live in poverty, Adil hopes to develop vocational training programs which will help them to become economically self-sufficient. I can tell you that Adil's English skills are good, and his determination to help the lives of his countrymen is genuine. Adil raises funds for various charity groups, and believes success can be accomplished through hard work and opportunity.
As a vocational rehabilitation counselor in Florida, it is truly a pleasure to know someone with the strong desire to work, live a full life, and to help others do likewise.
June 1, 2001
From Anastasia Charalambakos, ESL Instructor
Tampa Florida, USA
I first became acquainted with Adil Salouane in 1997 and later, in 1998 while studying Arabic in Fez, Morocco. Adil was very independent with regards to his daily living skills (cooking, cleaning and using public transportation). Additionally, Adil displayed a keen interest in pursuing a degree from an institution of higher learning in the United States. He was fluent in English as well as in grade II American literary Braille.
As an educator of English as a second language at the University of South Florida, I find Adil's knowledge of the English language to be advanced, but I feel he would benefit from further instruction in academic reading and writing. Participating in an intensive academic English language program in the United States would better prepare Adil to enter an American university where he can begin to achieve his goal of undertaking a major in business. Earning a degree in the field of his choice in Morocco is not possible primarily because the blind are prohibited from pursuing fields of study in departments other than Islamic studies. Also, unlike the United States, assistive adaptive technology for the blind are not available to aid in academic performance at school and work. Adil would be relying solely upon sighted volunteer readers and note takers to help him in Morocco.
If given an opportunity to receive an American education, Adils intelligence and determination will enable him to work on behalf of those living in developing nations such as Morocco. Adil is open-minded and dedicates a portion of his time to fund raising in order to assist less fortunate children and youth. When not tutoring or counseling others, Adil works for his local utility company. He obtained the position after much perseverance since the blind in his country are not easily able to find employment. The reasons are many, but two are attributed to limited knowledge by others regarding the capability of blind individuals and of the adaptive technology available to them. Yet, in spite of such misinformation, Adil has accomplished many of his short term goals. However, his full potential and long term career goals can be achieved only through further education.
USF 4202 East Fowler Ave
USF 30750 Tampa, Fl 33620-3075
June 15, 2001
From Phillip Grace, Teacher at the American Language Center
Adil first contacted me a year ago after hearing about me from a mutual friend. He wanted help to organise a party to celebrate charitable work that he had been involved in. His aim was to bring together those who had helped him and those who had been helped. The party took place in spite of a large number of obstacles and disappointments on the way. Adil was at times discouraged by being let down by others, but he never gave up on his determination to hold the party.
Since I met him, I have been amazed by Adil's committment to helping others. His heart is big and he is always generous to others and thinking of them. He loves children and they love him. In fact, he enjoys a treasured place in the hearts of nearly all the children I have seen him with. They always want to show him their affection for him and he knows each one by name.
We have spent many hours talking about charitable work and what the best approaches are. We often disagree on the best way to help people, but I cannot criticise what he is obviously doing. Adil is an excellent example of the motto 'It's better to light a candle than complain about the dark.' If he sees a need, he does what he can to meet it, regardless of the personal sacrifice that might be involved. In my opinion, he is almost unique in this country, at least among those I have met. I always value the times where we sit down and talk about any aspect of life.
I would be very happy to act as a reference for Adil as a personal friend.
I can be contacted by email at email@example.com
by mail at 53 Boulevard Zerktouni, Apt 23, Fez, V.N.30000 Morocco
June 1st 2001
From Barbara Byrnes, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
New York, N.Y. USA
One year ago, while working as an English teacher in Fez, Morocco with the Peace Corps, I had the great pleasure to meet Adil Salouane. I was working at the engineering college, but volunteering in my spare time at a childrens's school. Adil was also working as a volunteer teacher at the same school and there I got to see his talent and dedication shine.
Adil's compassion and desire to assist others was evident whether he was counseling teenagers at the school or collecting old clothes for people in need in Fez. He thinks of creative solutions to problems and then persists in accomplishing them.
During my time in Morocco I assisted Adil with his email. While he could type well using a standard computer keyboard, there were no other technological tools for the blind to use. This did not deter him; however, I feel it is an example of how someone as talented as Adil is held back from his true potential. He is a competant English speaker and I feel that he would greatly benefit from continuing his studies in the U.S. Afterwards, I believe, he would be a successful leader back in Morocco.
I would be very pleased to act as a reference for Adil. I can be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, NY USA
June 30, 2001