My memory is not something I could ever win an award for, but ironically enough, all of my motivation stems from a single memory that will forever be engraved in my mind. There I stood, in a tiny clinic in the US, with my husband Khalid by my side, and my daughter Sara, who was but a child back then, sitting at my feet. My son, Suhail, was lying on the only piece of furniture in the room. The Head of the Neurology Department was standing in front of me.
My entire world stood still as he said, “there is nothing you can do for your son,” to which I replied in my head, “you do not know me.” The second I said those words it was like I etched them in stone as a promise to my son. Suhail was diagnosed at the time with autism.
I began to do heavy research in many different directions. Saving Suhail was a goal of mine with complete conviction and the unshakable belief that I would succeed. In my mind, there was no space for sorrow, fear or tears.
Part of my research revolved around organic food and the effects of toxicity on our brain. I began cleaning out our kitchen and changing our life style at home. I witnessed first-hand the relationship between healthy food and Suhail’s growth and was in awe. He was overcoming so many challenges - of course with the help of a full team and our family.
I unfortunately found that certified organic and specialty products were not available in the Jordanian market, and couldn’t help but feel like I was doing a disservice if I did not provide the same opportunities to other families. And so, Juthour was born so that other families could make the same choices that we did.
I am a designer by degree. But in saving my son and founding Juthour my life became far more rewarding than anything I could have ever envisioned. Watching my business grow and seeing how it changed people’s lives made it a beautiful journey. Looking back, it was simple choices that made a lasting difference in my son’s life.
Today Suhail is graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada, He is 25 years old, realizing his own dreams.
I will forever be in debt to those who supported and believed in me along the way – it took immeasurable courage on his end and I am constantly in awe of the beautiful person that he is.
Luma Khalaf