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July 9, 2024 8 mins

Today we're highlighting athlete, activist, speaker and artist Doaa Shayea. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, this is Anny and Samantha. I'm welcome to stuff
on Never Tell You Perfection. I Heart Radio.

Speaker 2 (00:18):
With the Olympics and Paralympics around the corner, we thought
it would take some time to look at incredible athletes
around the world for our feminists around the world, because
you know, we love a good athlete. And yes, we
will be coming back to talk about some of those
Paralympic and Olympic athletes that are about to enter their competition. Yeah,
are you gonna watch it this year?

Speaker 1 (00:39):
Here to watch it?

Speaker 2 (00:40):
You watch it pretty consistently.

Speaker 1 (00:42):
I do watch it pretty regularly. I will be Okay,
I'm hesitating because I know there's a lot of there's
a lot of issues around it, Yes, and I'm curious
how it's going to play out, But yes, I will
be watching it.

Speaker 2 (00:54):
Yes, I know, like I've been thinking about that with
soccer and the conversations around soccer because similar protests and
things have happened. But like we know there was some
teams that people weren't expecting and were excited about, and
I'm hoping we could see that as well for this
year's Olympics and Paralympics. We already got to like sadness
of people trying to exclude trans athletes. But at the
same time, we've seen trans athletes actually make it and

we're very excited to celebrate them as well. But yeah,
so as is coming around, we want to look at
different athletes who are doing amazing things and using their
platform to be activists and advocates for others. And today
we are talking about Doah Shehaia, who was born with
spina bifida and is currently living in the UK. I

believe Plymouth and I was like, Oh, I didn't realize
it was a place right politic interesting? Kay, I'm sorry.
So Shia is a woman of many talents, including being
an athlete, an activist, a speaker, and an artist. She
has recently made headlines in her debut competition within the
powerlifting world, which is very cool, but before that, she
was already making waves as a wheelchair racer, which started

at a young age. I think she started around twelve
eleven twelve because she has a cute sight. When she
started at fifteen talking about being a wheelchair racer, I
was like, oh, look at this, and now she'll think
she's like in her twenties. So I wonder if she
knows she still has that and here's a bit from
her LinkedIn embodied in three impactful words. A Muslim woman
in a wheelchair lies the essence of my journey, a

narrative that transcends labels to become the guiding lens through
which I navigate the world. My professional canvas involves at
the intersection of disability, accessibility, sport and race, with a
particular focus on issues encopassing women's lifestyles, fitness and health.
Fueled by an unwavering passion and an unrelenting drive, I
am on a mission to not only raise awareness, but
to obliterate the prevailing disability narrative. My ultimate goal is

to sculpt a society that is not just successible, but
inherently inclusive to all. With a unique blend of lived
experience and skill, I have been instrumental in shaping positive
changes with numerous charities, organizations, and communities. These transformations possessed
the transformative power to influence policy changes, a testament to
the impact of authentic representation. My commitment extends to amplifying

the voices of the marginalized, ensuring they are not only heard,
but truly seen. A fervent advocate for improving representation, equality
and diversity. I actively seek opportunities that align with my
core values.

Speaker 1 (03:23):
And as she navigates her own activism and career, she
has not slowed down and learning or perfecting her skills. Recently,
she made headlines as she qualified and competed in the
World Pair of Powerlifting Championships in twenty twenty three, and
her work earned her a bronze medal and overall competition.
And with all of this under her belt, she has
been open and vocal about disability justice. In twenty nineteen,

she used her love of art to speak out against
ablest attitudes and insults. Here's a bit that she wrote
for you can find dot com titled Slay those wheels quote.
People don't as disability with beauty slash sexiness. But my
question is why why can't you be in a wheelchair
or have any sort of disability and not still be

considered sexy and beautiful. True beauty is in the heart mind,
and true confidence within will always radiate right through and
knowing you have so much more to offer, regardless of
looks or disability. There's more to a person than just looks.
Looks are only a part of what makes you who
you are. Who you are deep down is what matters.

My aim is to change the world's perspective on disability
and show that you can still have amazing hair, makeup, nails,
and even figure being a wheelchair and still sligh regardless
of wheels.

Speaker 2 (04:42):
And if you ever see a name of pictures, she's
been featured in several magazines as well as with a
modeling agency. She is gorgeous, so yeah, she could see.
She got that figured out and with her talents as
a makeup artist. She went on to talk openly about
some of the insults she has dealt with. She told
BBC News in twenty nine nineteen, I don't feel disability
has been accepted. It really does frustrate me. So with

the makeup design, I wanted everyone to see what disabled
people still have to put up with. In twenty nineteen,
it's like the words I write on my face, retard, bedridden,
I got called them. It's hurtful, And yeah, if you
see the video, she actually does an amazing thing where
there's a lot of like half makeup like tutorial and
then half of like your regular face, but on the

half she had her makeup done and on the other half,
she had words that had been said to her and
used to insult her, so as a kind of like
awareness tactic, and the article continues with how Shehay shared
a video on Facebook with her inspiring makeup. A lot
of the time to my face, I get people saying,
it's such a shame you're pretty. It's wasted on you,
doah said. I had a guy on the bus come

up to me and look at me with the most
sympathetic look. Den He said, it really is a shame
you're so beautiful as you're never going to do anything
with it because you're in a wheelchair. I mean, what
can you say to that. As soon as you're seeing
in a wheelchair or with any disability, that beauty is gone.
A wheelchair is always going to be seen before I'm
going to be seen.

Speaker 1 (06:03):
She has continued to speak up about the level of
marginalism that she has faced as a disabled Muslim woman
of color, and how she has learned the importance of
taking care of her own mental health as well as
learning to love and accept herself. In that same BBC article,
she talks about when she switched from using crutches to
a wheelchair. Quote Born in Yemen, Doah moved to the

southwest of England with her family when she was six
years old and swapped her crutches for a wheelchair a
few years later. I used to be really paranoid being
on crutches as I had a limp, and I was
always aware that people were staring at me, she said.
Now they still stare, but I can whizz right by
them and speed off. Doah said she believed people put
a limitation on me straight away and that was something

she wanted to break. I can do everything anyone else
can do, she added.

Speaker 2 (06:51):
Right, and she has. Obviously she's a racer, so she
has got some sweet and in another interview with Disability
Horizons dot Com, they write about her, Doah defines herself
as goddess of my own hell, which means she has
conquered the fight to exist, be seen and be heard
and while facing the negativity and discrimination for being female,
a woman of color and disabled. And from another article

where she is featured as a top ten activist to
Know It says in twenty fourteen, she carried the Queen's
baton through Plymouth ahead of Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and
she was also awarded the Plymouth Heralds rob Daily Award
for quote Overcoming adversity to excel in sports. And yeah,
I said she's been doing a lot, and obviously she
continues to do a lot, as last year she competed

in that powerlifting competition. I'm sure we're going to see
and hear a lot more from her.

Speaker 1 (07:40):
Yes, yes, And we do have some amazing listeners who
are great at letting us know about some of the
sports stuff we might miss. So looking forward to hearing
from all of you. Yeah and yeah. You can contact
us through a variety of ways. You can email us
at Stephanie mom Stuff at iHeartMedia dot com. You can

find us on Twitter at mom Stuff podcast, or on
Instagram and TikTok at stuff I'll Never Told You. We're
lso on YouTube, or you have a tea public store
and we have a book you can get wherever you
get your books. Kanks is always to our super producer
Christina or executive producer Maya and your contributor Joey. Thank
you and thanks to you for listening. Stuff Never Told
You the production of iHeart Radio. For more podcasts from
My Heart Radio, you can check out the iHeartRadio, Apple podcast,

or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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