Baseball Helped a Dubai-based Saudi-American Girl Rise above her Disability

As ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’, a classic song that was adopted as the unofficial anthem of baseball in North America, filled the air at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Lana Alharbi’s eyes lit up.

The moment she had been patiently waiting for all evening had arrived – Baseball United’s All-Star Showcase match. As the 4,000-plus fans, gathered at Dubai’s famous cricket stadium-turned-baseball pitch, cheered and clapped passionately so did Lana.

She was on the edge of her seat, her eyes soaking in every pitch, every hit and every run. By her side was her mother and two of her elder brothers, Aziz and Laith.

Together, they are a close-knit family, who are always there at Lana’s side to support and encourage her to do whatever makes her happy. Lana is a Person of Determination who lives life to the fullest. Baseball is her passion and first love.

Lana’s mother is from America and her father from Saudi Arabia. The family now lives in Dubai. “We were really excited to hear that a professional baseball tournament was taking place in Dubai because we are all huge fans of the game,” her mother told Khaleej Times.

“Especially, Lana and Aziz, who is the No 1 baseball fan in the State of Washington.

“We are so fortunate to be here. Everyone has been so kind and caring, especially towards Lana. She had the biggest surprise of her life today when legendary pitcher Felix Hernandez, who was one of the stars of the Seattle Mariners, signed her hoodie. She was so thrilled. I think it made her day.

“It’s wonderful to see that Dubai is embracing baseball so as a baseball-loving family we have so much to look forward to,” said Aziz.

“Everyone here is so generous, so kind, and on top of that so supportive of People of Determination who are loved and so well respected.”

Both her parents have always taught Lana to reach for her dreams, and the advice has not gone unnoticed.

After graduating from High School in the United States, Lana is now working as an apprentice volunteer at a Dubai school. She is also studying to become a school leader for happiness.

“We are a family of four boys so we have got a lot of athletic enthusiasm among us,” says her mother. “Lana loves to attend sporting events and the boys encourage and look after her.”

Despite brimming with excitement for the Baseball United as she geared up for the All Star Showcase, Lana could not enjoy the occasion instantly at the Dubai International Stadium.

“Initially, she was a bit overwhelmed with the whole atmosphere, the huge stadium, and the music,” said Laith.

“But it was such an enjoyable evening especially after Felix autographed her hoodie.”

Lana clapped and sang along to all the familiar baseball songs throughout the game together with her brothers and friends.

“We are very involved in her life and love Lana so much,” they said.

“We are so proud of her and love to go places with her. She’s a fantastic sister and is always fun to chill with.”

Source: Khaleej Times