A wheelchair-bound Syrian refugee who lives in Edinburgh will skydive from a plane in aid of a Scottish children's charity.
Haian Dukhan has been in a wheelchair since childhood but plans to parachute out of the aircraft this Saturday to raise funds for Children 1st.
And he will be joined by his friend, Fraser Saunderson, an assisted living manager who also volunteers for Children 1st’s Parentline service.
The two Edinburgh-based pals share a love of adventure and decided to take on the skydiving challenge to fulfil a life-long dream of Haian’s and help Fraser overcome his fear of heights.
Haian, whose first name means 'lover of life' in Arabic, said: "Having a disability since childhood made me even more eager to take on adventures, no matter what the obstacles. I've travelled to more than 30 countries, skied in the Alps, hiked the Scottish mountains and camped and rode camels in the Syrian desert. Sky-diving has been one of my life-long dreams, so I was delighted when Fraser agreed to join me in making it reality.
"He only told me about his fear of heights after he’d already agreed to join me in taking on this challenge.
"I’ve a young child, so when I heard about the amazing work that Children 1st do I immediately wanted to help. Since 2012 Scotland has become my second home. It means a lot to dedicate my sky-diving experience to a charity that does such a fantastic job for the children of Scotland."
Haian, who is a teaching fellow in International Relations and the author of a book on the Syrian Civil War, met Fraser soon after he came to Edinburgh, through mutual Syrian friends.
Fraser, who has volunteered for Children 1st’s Parentline service since 2018, said: "Anybody who knows me well will also know I'm terrified of heights. Haian’s enthusiasm and knowing what an important difference the funds we raise will make to children across Scotland are really spurring me on to overcome my fears and do the jump in May.
"As a volunteer at Children 1st’s Parentline service, I see first hand how by supporting families you can transform children’s lives – preventing and protecting them from harm and helping them recover from trauma, abuse and distress."
Source: The Scotsman.