AGAINST ALL ODDS – Emmanuel Kelly’s Portrait of Optimism by Lois W. Stern

Emmanuel and his twin brother Ahmed were born in Iraq, with disabilities that would have stopped many in their tracks. Abandoned in an Iraqi park, these tiny babies were found in a shoebox, brought to the Mother Teresa Orphanage in Baghdad and subsequently rescued by Children First Foundation boss Moira Kelly.

Both boys had sustained considerable chemical warfare damage. Both had profound limb deficiencies. But this did not stop Ms.Kelly, who brought the twin boys back to her native country of Australia, became their legal guardian and has guided and nurtured them into leading heartwarming and productive lives.

Emmanuel said he believes he was given a special gift and that gift is his voice. Singing is what he loves doing and is the only thing that he really wants to do. He has chosen music as his life goal for one reason: to make people happy through his songs.

Emmanuel auditioned for Australia’s Got Talent in 2010 but did not make it onto the show.  This year Emmanuel earned a standing ovation from the judges and packed audience with his heartfelt rendition of John Lennon’s song, Imagine in an X-Factor performance.

When I got up and started singing there was nothing else, adrenalin just took over, it was just a blur. I just want to sing and I want to make people happy.

Subsequently Emmanuel was eliminated when he forgot some of his lyrics while performing during X-Factor’s Boot Camp. But he does not see these experiences as defeat. He knows singing is the path he will continue to follow and considers his past performances opportunities that have already opened some doors for him. Now he intends to push even more.

Does Emmanuel think his damaged limbs have held him back? Not at all!  He is not looking for sympathy and doesn’t want people who attend his performances to be thinking: “Wow, how brave of him to do that (perform before live audiences).” Rather he is hoping they will focus on his gifts and say: “Wow, he has got a really good voice” or ‘Wow, he is going to go far in life.’

If you are wondering about Emmanuel’s brother, Ahmed Mustafa, he is also pursuing his dreams. Although a quadruple amputee, he is a swimmer who has set his sights on representing Australia in the 2012 Paralympics in London. I can’t wait to write his story!

Don’t miss Emmanuel’s live X-Factor performance.


Lois W. Stern is the author of two award winning books about different aspects of aesthetics (physical beauty): Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour. Beyond those topics, Lois is committed to writing short stories to touch the soul – stories that she calls her inner beauty “tales”. Suspecting that many writers who don’t have a enough inspiring stories for an entire book, might  have one fabulous “tale”  to share, she set out to find out . By initiating the TALES2INSPIRE contest as an “authors helping authors” project, Lois hopes to provide authors with a platform for building their own fan base, with the opportunity to have their work published in a short story anthology.

Lois invites all  interested in either cutting edge physical beauty news and tips, her energy renewing, spirit uplifting stories, or both to visit her Facebook Page If you like what you see there, become a fan by clicking on the LIKE button at the top of the screen.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire project

We welcome your review of this story in the Comment box below. Your name and credentials will be included with any review we post on Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s highly respected Book Review Blog under the TALES2INSPIRE banner.

Beauty Within

                Beauty Without . . .

                               What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty 


About loiswstern

I was in education for just over 20 years when I unexpectedly pursued another passion and entered the world of authors and journalists. I have since published two non-fiction, full length books on different aspects of beauty, but also avidly endorse the confluence of Inner and Outer beauty. I have written feature articles for Long Island Beauty Guide and LI Woman, and have served as Editor-at-large for, the largest Internet site for plastic surgery and beauty needs. I enjoy researching what's new in the world of aesthetics & anti-aging and devote one of my blogs: to sharing cutting edge, hype-free information. I devote my second blog to my other passion: writing, collecting and sharing stories to warm the spirit and inspire the soul. To this end, I have created an 'Authors Helping Authors' project/contest, to create books for inspiration, the first of which is titled: Tales 2 Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence. It is a jewel of a book, filled with inspiring stories and full color original photos and/or drawings. If you're a talented writer with one inspiring story to share, visit to learn how to participate. FREE to enter. All you need is the talent and perseverance to do so. Lots of positive platform building opportunities for the winners. Learn more at:

Posted on November 24, 2011, in Making the World a Better Place, Off the Beaten Path, Tales2Inspire, The Many Dimensions of Beauty, The Power of Your Words, Words to Inspire and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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