7 Jobs That You Are Prohibited from With Colorblindness

by Rich on June 5, 2012 · 110 comments


Like the boys above, most youngsters dream of becoming a pilot, a firefighter, or policeman.  However, these jobs and many more are prohibited from with color blindness.  In this article, we are going to cover 7 jobs that specifically prohibit those who deal with colorblindness, and why these restrictions are placed on these jobs.

Operating Motor Vehicles

If you hadn’t thought about this before, you will now. The operation of motor vehicles when colorblind prohibits organizations from hiring those with colorblindness. There are many countries in Europe and Asia that won’t allow those with colorblindness to obtain a driver’s license. Why?

Obviously, traffic lights with color indication are the main reason and a terrible train crash in Sweden in 1875 that prompted the decision in some European countries, to prevent those that are colorblind to get their license.

Pilot’s License

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration requires that those who wish to become pilots are tested for normal color vision. Obviously, color is important when it comes to dash instruments, and keep in mind that gun signaling on the tarmac is important for normal vision as well.

In some cases, pilots may be issued a license with restrictions, in which they are not allowed to fly at night, but those who cannot operate with color signals, will not be able to work for an airline.


You may not think that an electrician would be on the last, but it is. Unless you know someone who is an electrician, you may not understand why normal color vision is important. However, electricians deal with color coded wires on a daily basis, making it vital for all electricians to be able to see color.


A firefighter is another profession that you may not have considered needs to have color vision. After all a fire is a fire right? This may be true, but it when comes to using the various pieces of equipment normal color vision is important.

Think about the importance of extinguishers. Detecting the difference between a fire and a water extinguisher is important, so that water isn’t thrown onto an electrical fire.

Baggage Handler

While having normal vision is seemingly important for a pilot, it is equally important for those who work as baggage handlers too. Some bags are labeled with color coded symbols to indicate what the bags contain. If the bag is marked as not safe for a flight and it does end up on a plane, what could be the end result?

Police Officer

Is it your dream to become a police officer? If you are colorblind it could be that you won’t be allowed to take on your dream job. You might not consider that color has much to do with this job on a regular basis, but in fact that is on the contrary.

Consider that police officers MUST be able to identify and report those that they are to apprehend. If someone gives a description of a suspect, a police officer who is colorblind will not be able to tell the difference in what is red and what is brown.


Being a painter always involves colors, every minute of every day. This job is listed for the obvious reasons, as a painter’s work can be varied. Imagine that you were to hire someone to repaint your home, and it was painted in the wrong color. You wouldn’t be thrilled, right?

These are just 7 positions that prohibit those with color blindness to work them. ChromaGen is able to help, and you can contact us today at (855)473-2323 for more information!

{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

Q Riddell September 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm

To who ever wrote this article, you need to get some of your facts right. The details you speak of in each job are merely guesses to what colour vision for that role is based on. Yes colour deficient vision does exclude some from certain occupations. But rules and regulations are slowly changing. I myself am a fire fighter with red colour deficient vision. I can tell the colour difference between all types of extinguishers but they also have symbols and markings to tell them apart as well. This is how a lot of industries are changing so people with colour vision defects are not excluded as much any more. There are thousands of pilots flying commercial airliners today who have colour deficient vision. Google the name Arthur Pape and you find numerous articles of his work to see for yourself. You describe colour deficient people as true colourblind Monochromatic (black and white vision). That condition is very rare. The rest of us see a range of colours. But we are not all completely colourblind!!


Brian September 28, 2013 at 5:50 am

This is has to be the most useless article have read in a long time. You have limited information and perpetuating bad information. Yes, there at limitation on jobs for the color defection; however, the lens that you are marketing can not be using to gain employment in most cases and there use is prohibited. The use can grounds for termination at any point in the future, if someone does get hired.


Brian September 28, 2013 at 5:59 am

This should have been in the general reply. Smart phone are not at smart as we think some time.


colorblindforlife March 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm

i agree totally. i can see colors and tell the difference between them but i just can’t put a name to them. i have learned ways to cope with this and can tell color apart. some of it is just common sense. stop lights go red, yellow, green. easy to tell. when someone asks me what color their shirt is common sense plays a big part in the answer. if the person is a man then its probably going to be blue. pants also are going to be blue. i don’t see grey shades. again i can see the difference between the colors just have hard times putting a name to them. Riddell is right. people today don’t look down on this. you should really check what you are saying here about being colorblind. all of your example jobs are not out of the questions when it comes to people with colorblindness. i have learned what different shades of a color correspond with which color. i have gotten really good about doing my best on using commonsense and things around me to determine the color of a object. if all else fails ask your partner which you will always have in any of these jobs. please think before you wright


Jack Hurlbut November 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Same thing with me! Even though I have a very sadly worse degree of color blindness to were I scramble up almost any color anyday, I know whats what. I have learned to cope with it. On a scale from one to ten, how much do you want to kill somebody when they ask you what color the grass is?! For me its 10/10


Yaseen August 14, 2017 at 3:57 am

So true

I’m a 12 year old starting a new school and at first I only told my friends but then it started to spread and know my whole year knows me as colorblind boy

Also art has been a pain in my ass
Literally every time I need a new colour I ask someone just in case


Nithin December 22, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Are you still friends with the people who told the whole school you were colorblind?

margaret January 7, 2018 at 11:44 pm

If you are 12, why are you using the phrase ‘pain in the ass’ in the first place? Sad to say, but your lack of color vision may not be the source of your only problem at your new school.

barry morris October 11, 2015 at 7:12 am

Riddell thank you for giving me hope to become a firefighter i have a green/yellow slight deficiency.


Andy May 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

Airlines pilots dont need good colour vision at all. There is nothing in piloting an aircraft that requires us to name colours and nothing is coded with colour which isnt already coded with numbers or letters or shapes. No pilot determines which way another aircraft is going by coloured wingtip lights. Thats a throwback to marine navigation which preceeds aviation. We can tell by relative motion far more easily. There have been scientific studies and lengthy court cases proving a colour blind pilot is no risk to aviation safety. Thats why in Australia we can fly for the airlines by day and by night. Dont let non-experts tell you otherwise. Join the CVDPA and rid the world of all this unjust discrimination.


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Vitor March 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm

Wow, I think you will be a great OB. It seems like you have a real love for children, falmiies, and people in general. Sad to say that those qualities are rare traits in todays world. I believe not just anyone should be in just any job because you could be in a job that you hate and end up making everyone who comes in contact with you at work miserable. You have the joy and care to be great at your job and effect those you will be working around not only by your knowledge , but by your love for what you do.


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Andy May 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

I forgot to say I am a colour deficient commercial pilot. Cromagen lenses are not the solution. Removal of antiquated and unjustly discriminating regulations is the answer when it is scientifically proven that a colour deficient person can perform a job just as safely as one with normal colour vision.


Michael Negrete May 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I have a son who is eleven years old. We found out last year that he was color blind from an eye exam. We really could’nt tell until we started to ask him what color everything around us was. He’s not real bad but he’s slightly color blind. He is mechanically inclined. Would this prevent him from being any type of mechanic ?


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vijay September 5, 2013 at 11:13 am

i m an electronic engineer and a colourblind person, is i m elligible for defence?
plz tell me what career i must choose. is i m elligible for government job or not?
also suggest some sectors in which i m able to get job.


Dr. Turtle Jones, Brain Scientist December 15, 2014 at 12:22 am

You could try the French Foreign Legion they will take anyone with any type of deficiency. only you have to be in pretty good health and able to climb giant sand hills all day long without to much sleep and also be able to get slapped around buy the french foreign dudes that love to small rookie joiners around. if you can make it for a year in the FFL then you can be one of the meanest color blinded guys in town.. i mean after then being color blind wont matter because you can bully your way into any job after a hitch in the French Foreign Legion. Sincerely , yours.. Ferdinand Magelland XXVI


Jane November 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm

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Mental Telepathy or by snail mail.. i prefer mental telepathy..


chris March 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

Im colour blind and I am a painter so whoever wrote this article is a complete idiot. Get your facts straight.


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todd21 May 1, 2014 at 1:59 am

just started with a large multi-national, if the customers are paying, color blind is mostly irrelevant when your kids need to go to college


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guille June 5, 2014 at 9:43 pm

this article annoying.im a electronics technician and im red/brown and yellow/green colorblind and im a good tech.for example when I run into color coded wires or resistors I just use my multi meter to sort it out. when your colorblind and something gives you trouble due to colors you figure out your own way to get the information you need.


JERIN July 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm

sir,do you face any eye test before entering into the job


Abhishek June 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I am colour blind , can i become an aircfart maintainance engineer????


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Ryan June 30, 2014 at 2:47 am

I am a “colour blind” airline pilot. My professional career started in 1984. I am experienced on Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767 Airbus A320 and am currently an instructor on the A330. My “colour blindness ” has never been an impediment to my work. There are tens of thousands of colour vision defective pilots who have been flying around the world for decades. Millions of flying hours and countless sectors have been flown by such pilots. Do you know how many accidents or incidents have been attributed to a pilot being colour blind? Not one. Ever.


FuturePilot'sMom July 30, 2016 at 12:01 am

My son is being prohibited to take Commercial Pilot License because the Aviation School found out that he’s color blind. What I don’t understand is that why do they let him take a Private Pilot License…. My son is so disappointed that he can’t take CPL. He’s been dreaming to become a commercial pilot flying big airplanes.


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Cut the Colour October 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm

This article is quite deceptive. Just because someone is colour blind does not mean that they are incapable of taking on any particular career path. Colour blind people are proven to have developed coping mechanisms and systems to avoid difficulty as much as possible.

When avoiding colours becomes to difficult however that’s where we need education to kick in. If we diagnose earlier there are less difficulties than for someone attempting to negotiate a career path right out of high school.


Jack November 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

I remember being told I was colourblind in high school and it absolutely destroyed me. All I wanted to do was to become a pilot. Then I wanted to become a fire-fighter and then I found out that was out of the question. I can’t do any of the jobs I want to do because my colourblindness disqualifies me. I also can’t seem to get it graded for example CP3, everywhere I go they always say they can’t accurately diagnose it.


Nate February 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm

I’m red/green color blind I’ve been a police officer for 5 years. Never had any issues descibing suspects. I’ve responded to every call you can think of. domestics, sexual assaults, child abuse/neglect, health and well fair checks, larceny, assault, I even saved a mans life who was stabbed 10 times in a mugging an I found him bleeding out in his car.. the person who wrote this article doesn’t really understand the science of color vision deficiency. Articles like this are how styrotypes are made, and discrimination enter the world.


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unknown March 8, 2015 at 7:00 am

I’m 6 years old and trying to find a web about colour blindness is web true because if it isn’t my teacher will be cross with my facts


unknown March 8, 2015 at 7:01 am

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Mrs Murphy March 8, 2015 at 7:03 am

I’m trying to find a job but I’m colour blind are you sure I can’t ably for any of those jobs !????


adnan March 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Hey guys I’m 14 years old and well I live in the uk and right now I am vhosing options for year 10 which made me think of my future career and also im COLOURBLIND which makes me very depressed and also agitated ,so I keep asking myself why am I different and why am i unable to do what I wat it’s not exactly fair. Also recently 8 have wanted to become a n animator but I’m not sure if I can become one plz help me


unknown March 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm

even for people who are monochromatic traffic lights should be possible I mean they cannot tell colour but they can see shades and they have spent all their life seeing them as we see colour so they should be able to tell the difference in between a dark light and a light that is lit up. because traffic lights are three lights each with a different colour red yellow green from top to bottom a colourblind person should be able to read them. now if the light was only one that changes colour there might be a problem but that is not how it works.
however I am not colour blind myself nor am I properly educated in that subject so If I am wrong please correct me.


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I am arpan.I am a colour blind.I want to know that whether i can work in Finance and IT companies??


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Joe June 27, 2015 at 9:08 pm

The article is fairly accurate, specifically with the firefighter and pilot occupations. The rules prohibiting us from flying, working as firefighters, and cops are antiquated and they lump people with varying degrees of color vision deficiency together.

I wanted to fly from the age of 6. By the time I was 12 I knew I wanted to fly choppers in the Army. Imagine the kick to the gut when the only thing keeping me from flying was being color deficient enough to not pass the Ishihara test!

Australia won’t et you get a CDL, but fortunately in the U.S. there are different tests available to those of us who can’t pass the Ishihara test.


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DC March 7, 2016 at 7:36 am

Why the light contrast starts increasing if the Ishihara plate is more than four colors?I think I’m a green color blind. Why I can see clearly if not ishihara plate?


Joe March 10, 2016 at 4:59 am

Monchrome i.e Black and White only which is something like one in one hundred thousand people only. These are the people who cannot perform the above roles. Those with a color deficiency, not monochrome, however quite often fulfill all the job types mentioned including police, electrician and pilot.
There is reduced color perception granted but just about all color deficient people see all the basic colors. They do however encounter confusion zones where there is a cross over of colors from green to brown hues, red to purple and so on because of inabilities to see slight pigments of red or green in other basic colors. Basically a colour deficient person can distinguish a few thousand colors only whereas as a normal color vision person cna distinguish around one million colors differently. i.e they will get all the shades right.
This however is of no consequence.
I have a deficiency known as Protran. Most are either Protran which is a red deficiency or Deuternomaly which is a green deficiency. In either case we all still red, we all still see green which means driving a car, seeing stop signs and traffic lights is no different to anyone else. Red cars, fire trucks and tomatoes are still as red as can be. If someone is wearing a red shirt it is not green……..and so on.
The conditions occur from acquired genes passed from Mother (who has no deficiency) to son (who does) then daughter (who doesn’t) to son who does and so on. And it is incurable. Basically it means one out of the three color cones in the eye of the male, either the red, or the green is weak or is missing. BUT the brain makes up for it and is able to recreate the green that is missing or the red to nearly exactly the same hue but is diminished somewhat so essentially a color deficient person sees normal color, but has less chance of distinguishing shades. In girls color deficiency is extremely rare and if anything they will be monochrome. I know a lady who is and she wears blacks and whites. She knows guys are wearing blue and that’s about it. Just as rare is when the blue cone is missing and these people have difficulty with yellow and blue shades so crossovers between greens and blues and greens and yellows will be confused but essentially they will see blue as diminished and yellow as diminished but they will not see blue as yellow just like someone with red deficiency does not see red as green.
As a former electrician I never had an instance where wiring colors were confused. Essentially dangerous wiring is in clear reds, greens, blues, yellows, whites, blacks etc.
Having been through the police process in an organisation that accepts color deficiency it has made no difference to the operational aspects for policing. One state has no ban on color vision whilst a national police organisation accepts Protran and Deuteranomaly but not monochrome.
BUT there are tests that will you fail you. Ishihara is the most common but there are also Farnsworth color plates as well as a variety of electric color instruments as well as farnsworth lantern.
The Farnsworth lantern is actually the hardest to pass because it fires a pin prick of light from a distance of maybe 3 meters for about a tenth of a second and the applicant must call this out as white, green or red. A color deficient person will not be able to distinguish this because the light is too small and too short a time-frame. It’s like looking out at night in a blaze of lights and trying to pick the traffic signal 6km away. A normal vision person will see it. A color deficient person won’t. The lights will simply be all white, yellow etc unless the light is bigger or closer then they can tell you it’s green, orange, red etc. But when do you ever need to look at a pin prick of light for a nano second?
Never. So what the farnsworth should be is a light shone at the personon for however long it takes for them to say Red, green, white…….and they should not deliberately pick the confusion zone hues. When was the last time you saw a traffic signal that was bordering between bright yellow or lime green? Or pink and mauve? Cheers.


Alexandru March 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

A red light at night may be confused by the light of street lamps from afar. Condition : distant and night. Stop at traffic lights to away from him …
I’m color blindess.
Electromechanical technician for 20 years … trouble at work because of it – never. It is necessary to review the mode of selection a person color blindness because a person myopic glasses if you take them, will not be able to read drawings Ishihara. Either else.
Or something else such as eg traffic lights.
In conclusion may not be: electrician, fireman, pilot, police officer ,etc , etc.


sachin s h March 28, 2016 at 6:24 am

Am a colour blind person, This diease has taken all my dreams. I very worried about this Any solution for this plz tell me.


Joel May 29, 2016 at 6:26 am

Haha. Idiot story. I’m an electrician. Have been for 12 years. Not once has it affected my work.the only time it affects me is when I do a test. Aside from that, I have perfect vision and can tell red from green.


Genesis July 11, 2016 at 5:30 am

Hi i`m genesis from Philippines and i`m color blind too.. ill just figured out that i`m color blind when i enrolled at Aviation school, when the doctor give me some test for eye vision, that time i cant see any images in the picture that they show to me and say i have a color deficiency, they try to give me a chance, but the result is same..i was depress and don`t know what to do..my dream job is now gone forever…:( i`m now looking forward for a new profession.. any advice please?


Ares August 16, 2016 at 10:52 pm

How about doctor or medic profession, is it prohibited ?


Manish Thapa September 8, 2016 at 5:55 am

hello sir,
I’m Manish , I’m suffering from colour blindness . The Indian army doctors had sad to me that im CP-3 in colour blindness, i do wanna join the Brigade of Gurkhas . Is there any chance to join British Gurkha. i badly wanna join army, sir.


Sima September 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

I have a 6 year old son and he has mild color vision deficiency. When at first I read this article, I got disappointed, but thanks for your hopeful comments.. My son is an active and so happy child and has alot of dreams for his future.. I dont know if he should know about his color vision problem or not… Sometimes it makes me so worried.


Leon October 18, 2016 at 3:57 am

So beacuse of people with colour blindness they can’t follow their dreams I’m colurblind I can’t follow a dream thanks life thanks government make real hard don’t ya


jocker October 31, 2016 at 9:38 pm

I am JOCKER asking how to get employer abroad if i have a color blind problem,,i am a machinist searching a job abroad,,, is this major requirement to get pass to medical exam,,,who can help me?


steve December 15, 2016 at 3:12 am

I was also born colorblind I have been living with it my entire life. If anyone on this comment section understand what it’s like to be colorblind it is me.

There are now glasses that you can buy called EnChroma if you google that you will find them. These glasses can correct color blindness. They will cost you a few hundred dollars but they are 100% worth it. There are also videos you can watch on youtube and see how colorblind people react when they try these glasses on for the first time.


satyajit November 16, 2016 at 11:44 am

I want to suicide because of this …..i don’t know


steve December 15, 2016 at 3:07 am

This article is useless now because there are glasses that correct color blindness called EnChroma they will cost you a few hundred dollars but these glasses are capable of correcting the most common type of color blindness for people who are deficient in the red and green spectrum, they give someone the opportunity to see what the world they people with normal vision do. Also the person who wrote this article is obviously not color blind because he is mostly ignorant about this topic. I was born color blind and I can tell the difference between red, yellow and green traffic signals because they are bright neon colors but I can have trouble telling the difference between brown and red, or green and yellow but again that really depends on the shade of the color and how bright the color is or how rich the color is.

people who are not color blind should not act like they understand what it is like to live with colorblindness. You cannot even begin to understand what it is like to be colorblind and learning how to identify the difference between colors and wondering how other people see the world who are not colorblind. Every time someone finds out you’re colorblind they start asking you if you can tell the difference between this color and that color. As a kid, I was teased a lot because of that.


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Henry April 8, 2017 at 9:03 am

This is very obviously written by someone without colour blindness, I my self am red green colour blind, so only when those two colours mix will I not be able to differentiate the colours, for example I can see that grass is green and KitKat rappers a red, so when someone asks me to press the green button and not the red button I think I’ll hit the green one, I can see a whole range of colours. That can’t stop me being a police officer or a fireman. I have had colourblindness all my life and have been taught all the different colours so for you to say that I can’t have a job because two colours that are infact complimentary colours because they look incredibly similar.


James Easton April 10, 2017 at 3:32 pm

My names James and I have red and green colourblindness. In your article you claim that I could never be a pilot, yet I’ve just come home from flying one of British Airways Airbus A320′s across Europe. Sorry mate but something doesn’t add up… I know multiple colourblind Pilots so don’t give up on your dreams just yet boys.


tim hubbard September 13, 2017 at 10:47 am

Hi my name is Tim I am an Aircraft Engineer or was !
I have a problem with colour vision and fail the Ishihara test every time. Many years ago I held a UK PPL and took a lantern test to assess my colour vision and as a result the medical issued had no restrictions. I also took an FAA class 2 medical with no restrictions.
Having worked in Aviation for 30 years + with no issues today I received a e mail from a job application that I would not pass the necessary requirements for a driving permit at London Gatwick and therefore they could not offer me a job
My question is you can take a test but will it be recognised by an AIr side Driving Authority . Having reviewed the comments made it seems to be a Pilot/ Electrician/Policeman even an Aircraft Engineer no problem depending on the level.
To drive a vehicle at a UK airport that is another story. Maybe I should consider a career change or just claim disability allowance as per any other condition associated with blindness. Possibly I could get a colour dog that can guide me through a colour blindness test
Seriously I am not happy about this story It has a major effect on my ability to work in the UK.


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John October 1, 2017 at 6:44 pm

I don’t see bomb disposal on the list???? Cut the blue wire???


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sally November 1, 2017 at 10:41 pm

i found out last month that my son has colour defetincy since that day it broke my heart i no it maybe no big deal but i cry evry time i think about him cuz i want him enjoy the life as we injoy it


Steve November 30, 2017 at 9:15 pm

While the article is erroneous on many points, we don’t need to color the conversation with barbs. I got a seeing-not-color-blind-eye dog. JK. No such thing. I just dress like a buffoon and think that my pink skis are orange.


Michael Webb March 3, 2018 at 6:09 pm

If you were colorblind how could you drive at night? You could see the lights of stoplights but not the signal head itself so as to tell if it was the top middle or bottom light that was lit.


Bleached March 4, 2018 at 11:28 pm

Color deficient vision is very common among criminals. This is why you cannot find work – they’re scared you might steal something or kill someone!!! KEEP THESE PEOPLE OUT!!!


pablo March 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

All I ever wanted to do is be a painter, but now thanks to this article I have come to the realization that I can not be one. This has lead me downwards to a depressing pit of sadness and I now work at mcdonalds. thanks wereadbetter


cole March 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm

Pablo you should just be happy you have a job you pathetic color blind loser


paul March 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Cole I think you should be nice. Color blindness is serious and hes trying his best to get by


cole March 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm

shut up dum dum booger breath


Bader June 13, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Dear All,

I read all your comments about being color blinds. DO NOT AND NEVER FEEL BAD. Please read my story in the upcoming book “The Sea is Purple” – The Boy Who Would Fly.

The Book
The story of how a young boy’s dreams remain with him into adulthood contains the magic of miracles. As challenge after challenge is thrown into his path, Bader Murad digs deep to overcome the barriers to success. The highs and lows of fortune occur with startling regularity, matched at every turn by his determination to achieve his ambition.

Bader’s tale is an inspiration to all who encounter obstacles on their way through life.


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