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The below is a message from the Regional President & Managing Director of  our Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa (MENA) regional office, Mr. Ayman A. Wahab.

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Dear All,

It is with great sadness that I report to you the death today morning of HRH Princess Lalla Amina, Chairperson of Special Olympics Morocco. She passed away on August 17, 2012 after less than four months of hard fought battle with lung cancer.

The Special Olympics MENA region extends heartfelt condolences to both the Moroccan Royal Family and the Special Olympics Morocco Family.

In 1995, HRH as a first of her kind inclusion leader, was the first ever Moroccan to establish a dedicated program for people with intellectual disabilities by founding Special Olympics Morocco. The program hosted the 2nd Special Olympics MENA Regional Games in October 2000. She joined the Special Olympics International Board in Jan 2008 when she was elected to the MENA IAC representative position and for four consecutive years till the end of 2011. During her tenure as an Special Olympics Board Member, she worked tirelessly to transform the program to be one of the leading programs in the MENA region and were able to host the 1st class 2010 Special Olympics Global Congress in Marrakech, Morocco under the generous patronage of His Majesty King Mohamed VI.  The Congress was a critical moment for us all as we were setting out to define a strategy to achieve greater quality, growth, and alignment within our movement.

As the MENA Regional President, I was proud to say that the Congress was an overwhelming success. She was an absolute star in every way. During the Congress closing ceremony, she gave us a beautiful reminder of why we were gathered: “Without our athletes, love cannot be a special thing”.

HRH’s leadership has forever positively changed the lives of more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes in Morocco.

Her lasting legacy will be that of a Special Olympics program that continues to provide opportunities to many and more individuals with intellectual disabilities & their families in Morocco.

Special Olympics Morocco & the lives of Moroccan individuals with intellectual disabilities would not be what it is today without HRH–born to poverty, dedicated to social and educational justice, compassionate advocate for those who are vulnerable.  We cannot replace her, but we can dedicate ourselves to her memory.

HRH served as an elected Chairperson of the MENA RAC for a two years term (2006-2008). She was a legendary force for countless ideas & movements in Morocco and around the region. Everyone who called upon her found the same combination of insight and kindness. She was a treasure not only to her family but also to the MENA region and particularly Special Olympics Morocco.

I know you will join me in sharing your thoughts and prayers with all of us at Special Olympics MENA & her family.

HRH Princess Lalla Amina
April 14, 1954 – August 17, 2012

A young Moroccan athlete hugs HRH Princess Lalla Amina during Special Olympics Global Athlete Congress in Marrakech, Morocco (June 2010)

HRH Princess Lalla Amina speaks with Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Tim Shriver at Special Olympics Global Congress (2010)

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