Amidst the glittering celebrations, Qatari youngster Ghanim al-Muftah captivated audience at Al Bayt Stadium during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 opening Sunday.
He enthralled the crowd while sharing the stage with Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman.
Al-Muftah, while encouraging dialogue on inclusion and diversity, quoted the Qur'anic verse: “O, people! We created you from a male and a female, and We made you races and tribes, so that you may come to know one another.
“The best among you before Allah is the most righteous. Allah is Knowing and Aware.” (Surah Al Hujurat: 13)
Asked by Freeman “how can countries, languages and cultures come together if only one way is accepted”, al-Muftah said: “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 and differences.”
“With tolerance and respect we can live together,” he said while welcoming all to Qatar.
Al-Muftah was born on May 5, 2002 with a rare condition known as Caudal Regression Syndrome (CDS), a disorder that impairs the development of the lower spine.
An inspiration to many, he is exceptional with his ability to overcome obstacles with positivity and leadership.
An active participant and enthusiast in scuba diving, skateboarding, and rock climbing, al-Muftah is currently pursuing his university degree with focus on political sciences.
“Football spans the world, unites nations in their love of the beautiful game. What brings together nations, brings together communities," Freeman said.
The opening ceremony had BTS's Jungkook and Qatari singer Fahad al-Kubaisi on the stage.