Guinness World Record Afshin Esmaeil Ghaderzadeh
Afshin Esmaeil Ghaderzadeh celebrates big news: he has been officially named the shortest man in the world.
The 20-year-old Iranian, who stands at 2 feet 1.6 inches tall, recently bagged his title after visiting the Guinness World Records offices in Dubai, but before that, the record-keeping organization says they tripled their measurements.
“Just the thought of being a part of the Guinness World Records family is like a dream,” Afshin said in a statement. “I find it hard to believe sometimes.”
“It’s like you wake up the next day and the whole world now knows who you are. It’s magical,” she added.
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Back home, Afshin likes to watch cartoons Tom & Jerry, dancing and cheering on his favorite soccer team. He also has a friend who helps him run an Instagram account—where he has amassed tens of thousands of fans—because, he says, phones “are heavy to use for a long time.”
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But there were also aspects of life that she struggled with due to her stature.
His father told Guinness World Records that due to Afshin’s size, he eventually had to stop going to school, although he recently learned to write his own name.
“My son’s constant care and physical weakness are the main reasons he stopped studying,” said Esmaeil Ghaderzade.
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Finding clothes that fit is another challenge for the 20-year-old, who prefers tailored suits to kid-friendly styles he finds too childish.
Not having enough money for medicine and treatment has also been a hardship for Afshin and his parents. His family says there are no jobs for him near his home in West Azerbaijan province, Iran. But Afshin hopes his record-breaking fame could be an opportunity for him to give back.
“My dream is to be able to help my parents,” she told Guinness World Records. “This global recognition could help.”