A Jordanian soccer fan is a star on social media
After spending most of his life at home due to a medical condition, Jordanian footballer Amer Abu Nawas’ love of football has been transferred to social media fame.
Offering analysis of matches from Europe’s major football leagues to almost a quarter of a million fans, his Facebook page – “HouseAnalyzer” in Arabic – has become a “big family” that he says.
The 27-year-old was born with osteogenesis, or brittle bone disease, a genetic condition that prevents normal bone growth which has meant he rarely leaves his home in Zarqa, 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the capital Jordan, Amman.
“It is true that I have never played football in my life, and I have never attended any game, but for me football is everything,” Abu Nawas told AFP .
With no schools in the country catering to his needs, Abu Nawas grew up spending much of his time watching football matches, analyzing the teams and playing football video games .
“This always made me feel like it was taking me from this world to another world,” he said.
His friends noticed his interest and encouraged him to publish his game analyzes online.
In 2017, he launched his Facebook account, which now counts over 243,000 followers.
– ‘Go people’ –
Filmed on a phone in his bedroom, Abu Nawas’ videos usually feature him wearing a football jersey, commenting on matches and news from the world of football.
Discussing leagues from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, he sometimes uses a table in the shape of a football field to explain tactical nuances.
One of Abu Nawas’s latest videos reached over 1.4 million viewers and he has started posting on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
He said he was grateful for today’s technology that allowed him to connect with so many people.
“From this room, from this small place isolated from the world, I was able to cross these walls, reach people, communicate with them, create content, and be what me today,” he said.
He said he was sad when he sometimes saw people attacking each other in comments on his posts, and said his relationship with his followers was “like a family “.
“This family is growing day by day, and I hope it reaches as many fans as possible,” he said.
Abu Nawas’s own family is doing their best to give him a comfortable life.
He is the youngest of three brothers and his father is a doctor and his mother is a pharmacist.
Inside his room there are shelves with a PlayStation, a computer and plastic baskets holding things he might need.
On his bed are phones, remote controls, headphones and a long stick used to reach distant objects.
– ‘Not a barrier’ –
“He has his own world, in a room with a temperature of 27 degrees to avoid cold and pneumonia. He can operate anything using the remote control,” Yussef’s father told AFP.
He said that his son has friends who visit him occasionally.
“When he feels bad, they take him out for a ride in a minibus,” he said.
Abu Nawas lamented that in Jordan “no one cares” about people with diseases like his, and said he wished he had the chance to go to school.
“The conditions for people with special needs are terrible,” he said.
“I couldn’t study because there are no special schools for people like me.”
Last year, the organizers of the soccer World Cup invited him to attend the tournament in Qatar.
But due to travel problems related to his condition, he arrived late and missed the games he was scheduled to attend.
Nevertheless, Abu Nawas said it was “the best 10 days of my life”.
“I know my situation, I learned to be happy, and I will stay that way,” he said.
“Disability need not be a barrier to success.”