In many cultures being a dwarf has meant being the butt of jokes. However, for Muhammad Karaith it has made his pilgrimage to Mecca a lot easier. Much of this, it has to be said, is due to his extremely positive attitude and sunny disposition. From the Saudi Gazette in Mecca, Naeem Tameem Al-Hakeem reports:
Sarcastic comments, jokes and requests for photos from passersby did not bother Muhammad Karaith, a dwarf Moroccan pilgrim. Instead of cursing those who said things, including several officials who wanted their pictures taken with him, Karaith received them with a wide smile and great confidence that has no parallel.
All smiles in Mecca
Karaith, who is 3 feet 11 inches tall, was looking to see if he could spot a shorter pilgrim. “I would say I am the shortest man in Haj unless I make sure that there is a shorter pilgrim than me,” he said. Karaith, who is 26 years, does not believe being a dwarf is a disability. On the contrary, he believes that it is a great blessing from God since he can finish his business in any government agency very quickly.He said he was the first pilgrim to complete the immigration procedures at the airport and pointed out that he gets top priority wherever he goes.
Karaith, who works as a farmer, is physically strong and performed most Haj rituals on foot; he walked all the way from Mina to perform the Farewell Tawaf of the Holy Ka’ba. He said he didn’t find any difficulty in the crowds because the pilgrims fully cooperated with him. Karaith said that because he quickly assimilates into any society, he leads a happy life.