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Pakistan’s tallest man seeks help in RP

Posted on: March 6, 2009

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By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:32:00 01/08/2009

Filed Under: Celebrities, Human Interest, People

MANILA, Philippines — “My height is a gift from God,” said Ijaz Ahmed, a towering Pakistani who has come to the Philippines to raise funds for his right leg operation.

Ahmed claims to be 8 feet and four inches and weighs 287 pounds.

According to doctors, Ijaz, 26, is still expected to grow by three to four inches, giving him the chance of clinching the Guinness World title for world’s tallest living man.

Ijaz hails from Punjab and has worked as farmer before his injury, having been born to a family of farmers.

In 2002, Ijaz injured his foot in a car accident.

Doctors told him the operation would cost $50,000 and so in 2006, he embarked on a tour to raise money for his operation.

Over the past two years, Ijaz has raised a third of the total amount required for his operation.

Ijaz took a trip to the Philippines after he met Ann Sia of Clara International during a 2006 event in Malaysia.

Sia said Ijaz was a guest in her company’s event along with a three-foot man. Upon learning of Ijaz’s condition, she offered to host Ijaz after he visits Manila for his fund raising project.

“My friend Ann invited me to go to the Philippines to raise funds for my operation. She said the people here are friendly and very kind,” Ijaz said.

Sia said a Filipino pledged to help Ijaz on his leg injury and has scheduled him for a medical checkup at a Makati hospital.

When asked if he has a girlfriend, Ijaz smiled and said: “Right now, I don’t have a girlfriend because in Pakistan, we have arranged marriages. My parents will choose the girl for me.”

Ijaz, through the help of his caretaker and interpreter Jamil Ahmed, has submitted papers for application to the Guinness World Records.

Ijaz will go back to Pakistan in December so Guinness World Records can measure his height, said Jamil.

At present, Bao Xishun of China holds the Guinness World record because Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk was stripped of the record in August 2008 when he refused Guinness representatives from getting his height.

“I have already submitted papers to Guinness but I do not really mind if I am hailed as second or third tallest living man in the world. I am happy I am here today,” said Ijaz.

Ijaz, who heads a non-profit organization for differently abled children in Pakistan, said he has dreams of peace, accessible healthcare and education for everyone.

Ijaz will stay in Manila for less than a month.

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