"Be proud of yourself and love yourself"
A Coventry family have been entered into the Guinness World Records for the largest number of albino siblings.
Due to the rare condition, Naseem Akhtar and her five brothers and sisters have faced abuse and discrimination throughout their lives.
They are among 15 members of their family, originally from Pakistan, who have albinism.
Now they have a place in the Guinness World Records as their total of six siblings beat the previous record of four, which was jointly held by two families from the US and Canada.
The six are Naseem, Ghulam, Haider, Muqadas, Musarat and Mohammed.
Mother-of-three Naseem had put the family forward for the record “because we are such a unique family and I do believe it’s something that should be marked in history”.
She said: “I always believed something good would happen.
“Maybe being Guinness World Records title holders is that good thing.
“Go and get your dream and be amazing, because we are all amazing. It doesn’t matter if you have a disability or are able-bodied or who you are, just be you.
“Be proud of yourself and love yourself for who you are. Find who you are.”
Their parents, Aslam Parvez and Shameem, also have the condition, as well as some of their own children, nieces and nephews.
At the age of 11, Aslam and his family moved from Pakistan to the UK.
He and his brother were later arranged to marry Shameem and her sister, both of who had albinism.
Each parent had one sibling with albinism, but Shameem’s sister passed away.
Aslam’s brother had seven children, four of who have albinism, although one passed away.
Two of the parents’ non-albino siblings also had albino children – three in total coming from non-albino parents – bringing the total up to 15.
But none of the most recent generation of the family inherited the condition.
NHS rehabilitation officer Naseem previously said:
“Throughout our lives, my family have put up with a lot of bullying and discrimination for the way we look and who we are, as well as having to cope with sight loss.
“As a family, we never fit into the community – we had dog poo on our doorstep, our windows were smashed and we even once had fireworks pushed through the letterbox.
“But now I’m proud of who we are – people will always have things to say, but you don’t have to listen.”
“I’m very passionate about educating people about this condition so they can understand what it is, and the impact it can have on the lives of those affected.
“I just want people to know we have overcome our challenges together and the pandemic has brought us closer.”
She went on to say that her confidence decreased because of the abuse the family were subjected to.
Between Naseem and her five siblings, they have 14 children, none of whom have albinism.
She is proud of her identity but is glad the next generation of the family does not suffer from sight loss, which is caused by an absence of pigment in the iris.