Mahmoud Hamoud was born in a village outside of Tiberias. As a child he was an avid soccer player, but an injury during a soccer game at age 15 caused Mahmoud to lose his eyesight. This did not deter Mahmoud from his love of sports, and he continued to swim every day.
Four years ago, as a student at Haifa University, Mahmoud learned about Etgarim. He immediately joined Etgarim’s Haifa running group, which pairs seeing and non-seeing runners, and participates in various races and marathons around Israel.
Mahmoud is such a proficient runner that not every Etgarim volunteer running buddy can keep up with him. Mahmoud ran the half-marathon track of the 2015 Jerusalem Marathon with his running partner Noam Kaster, who had been training with him for several months. Over 100 other Etgarim runners also participated in different segments of the marathon.
Mahmoud intends to finish his BA and to go on for an MA in educational counseling. At the same time he plans to continue to train for the marathon and intends to run the entire course next time. Mahmoud’s coach Erel Zingman says: “Mahmoud is a very determined guy. He’s a hero with a love of running, a very positive attitude and a perpetual smile.”
Mahmoud sums up: “Without Etgarim I would never have been able to do what I do today. The Haifa running group is like a family that encourages everyone to participate, motivates us to persist and drives us to succeed.”