(Left to right) Prince Jalawi Bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Deputy Governor of the Eastern Province, and Dr. Khaled Al-Sultan, President of KFUPM, shaking hands with Muhannad Abu Deya. — Courtesy photo
By Amal Al-Sibai
Blindness may mean the end of world for most people, however for Muhannad Abu Deya it wasn’t, as he became an engineer, inventor and an author afterwards.
Abu Deya graduated from the prestigious King Fahd University of Petroleum (KFUPM) in Dharan and on his graduation day ceremony he was asked to deliver the valedictorian speech. The ceremony which marked the celebration of the 42nd graduating class of KFUPM also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the university.
Prince Jalawi Bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Deputy Governor of the Eastern Province, and Dr. Khaled Al-Sultan, President of KFUPM, attended the ceremony and congratulated all students on their achievement.
Abu Deya had enrolled in KFUPM in 2004 to major in physics. Over a period of time he created a number of scientific inventions and patented them.
His work culminated in designing and building the first Saudi submarine to reach the depths of the large and deep oceans.
Life was filled with happiness and success for Abu Deya: he was getting famous for his scientific inventions and companies were ready to buy them in return for millions of dollars, and he had just returned from his honeymoon.
However, fate had other plans and Abu Deya soon met with a tragic accident in which he lost his eyesight and a leg, and slipped into coma for 20 days.
For the average person, such a traumatic experience would be psychologically damaging and could end all dreams, hopes, and ambitions, but not for Abu Deya. This brilliant man is living proof of the famous quote that says “little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.”
“When I came back from the coma, family members, fans, and well wishers were surrounding me. They were extremely distressed when they informed me that I was blind and had lost a leg. I did not shed a single tear and I remember saying to those around me “now the action begins.” I vowed to continue the project I had started, complete my bachelor’s degree, and support other Saudi inventors as well,” Abu Deya said.
And indeed, Abu Deya was a man of his words for he fulfilled the promises he made to himself and his country. After a couple years of unrelenting hard work, therapy, and rehabilitation, Abu Deya rejoined KFUPM and the administration and faculty at the university were happy to have him back. Due to his strong faith in Allah and unwavering will power, this summer he realized his dream of graduating from the university.
Abu Deya may be unable to see but he still has a vision and that is to offer technical support, counseling, guidance, and collecting funds for young innovators and scientific inventors in the Kingdom. He plans to establish a center that will help the youth fine tune their inventions and learn how to publicize, market, sell their products, and put them to good use for the society. Abu Deya’s goal is to help in the emergence of one million Muslim inventors.