Youth without hands pursues passion for charcoal drawing

Youth without hands pursues passion for charcoal drawing

January 13, 2009, Tuesday/ 18:32:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES

A disabled young man who lost both of his arms due to an electric shock he received as a child has become an artist, drawing with a pencil in his mouth. "I do not see myself as different from other people," said Yusuf Akgün. "If I did not have solid determination, I would be a person fed by others in a rehabilitation center."

It was his determination that earned him awards not only in drawing but also in swimming. He even had a personal exhibition of his drawings.

Because of his family's economic difficulties, he has been under the protection of the state and lives at the 50th Year Child Protection home in Ankara. He was accepted into the fine arts department at Atılım university.

Akgün told the Anatolia news agency that his curiosity led him to try drawing.

"I've always been curious about drawing. That curiosity led me to think about how I could do it. My works received admiration from the people around me, and I pursued my interest," he said. He is on full scholarship at the university and plans to graduate with a degree focused in graphics and design.

"After graduating I plan to work in my field," he said.

Salih Çakırgöz, Social Services and Child Protection Agency (SHÇEK) provincial deputy director, said the agency will continue to provide support for Akgün, who is living an "exemplary life."

Ali Taşyürek, director of the 50th Year Child Protection Home, said Akgün's work is a reflection of his determination. "We cannot do the work he does even if we use both of our hands," he added.

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