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Disabled Iranian Artist Exhibits His Work At Home And Abroad


An accident that leaves someone 85 percent paralyzed would discourage many. But not for one Iranian man who used his unfortunate circumstance to discover a talent that is now touching thousands of people.

He's finished 2,500 paintings and taken part in more than 90 exhibitions at home and abroad. His paintings attract many customers to this shop in northern Tehran. But the most astonishing fact is how Jahanbakhsh Sadeqi discovered his talent.

At 16, Jahanbakhsh Sadeqi was hit by a car, leaving his entire body paralyzed except for his hands. Recalling his discovery, "After I accepted my condition, I tried to learn how to paint. Later because of work and painting, speaking to others and the numerous exhibitions I had, I was able to adapt myself with my condition of being paralyzed. And now it's about 33 and a half years that I'm disabled and I work."

Through bleak circumstances, Mr. Sadeqi still managed to see the bright side. He believes all of this is the work of God. "Whatever happened, it was the wish of God. That accident changed my path completely," he says.

That path of painting inspires enthusiasm in a younger generation of students and admirers.

"He's very hard working," one admirer said. "From the condition that he has, there are a lot of things one can learn from him."

In addition to mentoring budding artists, what else does Mr. Sadeqi share with his young admirers? "I tell them about the passing of time," he says. "I tell them my pleasant feelings about life - I tell them that life is good, it's not bad."

Everyone has problems, Mr. Sadeqi says, but he believes we can accomplish more than we thought we were ever meant to.

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