Srinagar, Nov 25: The opening ceremony of FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Sunday brought forth a brief but unique dialogue between the eastern and the western worlds.
Ghanim Al Muftah, a 20-year-old Doha resident, mesmerised people with the recitation of a Quranic verse, for the first time in any world cup, advocating for equality and coexistence after veteran American icon Morgan Freeman asked him about the 'distant and divided' world.
The American actor sought to know from the specially abled Arab young man how people would come together if only one way is accepted.
"How can so many countries, languages and cultures come together if only one way is accepted," Morgan questioned as millions watched across the globe.
Muftah, who is without his lower limbs owing to a disease and walks on his hands, in response recited a verse of Surah Al-Hujuraat: "O mankind, indeed We have created you from a male and a female and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted".
It was as if Ghanim secretly knew about the inner thoughts of millions of Muslims around the globe when such questions are thrown at them.
The young motivational speaker talked about his upbringing around the Quranic message. "We were raised to believe that we were scattered on this earth as nations and tribes so we could learn from each other and find beauty in our differences," Muftah responded to a pleased Freeman who was sitting on the floor to make eye contact with Ghanim.
Freeman, who played God in Bruce Almighty, then responded: "I can see it, what unites us here in this moment is so much greater than what divides us", as the people surrounding the stage erupted in rapturous applause.
How can we make it last, Freeman questions again. "With tolerance and respect we can live together under one big home... and when we call you here, we welcome you into our home," Muftah said.
"So we gather here as one big tribe and earth is the tent we all live in," the actor reacted, getting a nod from Muftah. "Together we can send the call to all the world to join us," he said as they both extended their hands towards each other.
Muftah's life has been an example of perseverance and beating the odds from his very birth in Doha in May 2002.
He suffered from a congenital disease which did not allow his lower spine to develop fully even before his birth. Finding a school was a challenge for his parents and as was making friends in the school for Muftah.
He has been majoring in political science and wants to become a diplomat for his country. He also owns an ice-cream factory and runs a charity with the help of his family to help specially abled people.
He spends his life in reading and ultimately writing and has been a rage among youth on social media with over a million subscribers on Youtube, over 3 million on Instagram and 7 million on TikTok. On his twitter account he has shared a video diving underwater for a minute.
Since his very childhood he has reconciled with his disabilities as his video messages indicate how the Quranic message has influenced his life.
“By the grace of God, I have reached the conviction that God – Glory be to Him – created me in the best form, and that my pains were healed with patience, praise and supplication,” he said reportedly in one of the videos.
"Reconciliation with things that we cannot change is strength and not weakness, happiness and not misery, hope and not pain. I have accepted my body and thank God for it.”