When judge Ronan Keating questioned Emmanuel Kelly “How old are you?” on the Australian version of X-Factor, he replied with “I, uhmnn well, actually I am not exactly sure. “
Emmanuel and his twin brother, Ahmed, were born in war torn Iraq with “double arm and leg deficiency,” likely due to lack-of iron while in utero. They were abandoned together in a shoe box and left in a park with no birth certificates much less anything else, later to be discovered by nuns who brought them to the Mother Teresa Orphanage in Baghdad, while they lived until they were seven.
Enter Australian humanitarian Moira Kelly, herself a twin. Ms. Kelly met the boys, brought them home with her for treatment and eventually adopted them and guided them to citizenship in 2009. Brother Ahmed, a quadruple amputee, has gone on to represent Australia as a swimmer in the paralympics while Emmanuel’s vocal talent has allowed them both to spread an important, over looked message.
“We want to convey that with empathy, rather than sympathy, the differently abled can lead a less scrutinized life than they sometimes do presently,” the brothers said.
Had we been dealt the hand these boys had, could we have triumphed the way they did? Fortunately, we were not tested by these circumstances and can just “Imagine.”