Iraqi dwarf community seeks equal rights
Iraq’s dwarfs – estimated to number around 8,000 – are seeking equal rights and treatment in a society which they feel discriminates against them.
Although there are legal regulations that recommend hiring dwarfs and other special needs invididuals in state institutions, these directives are seldom followed.
Mohammed Idan Jabbar, head of Iraq’s Short Stature Association, previously ran for parliament on a campaign for attain full rights for dwarfs.
“I ran for the elections to demand providing jobs, salaries, healthcare and social security and to mainly gain (dwarfs’) recognition of citizenship rights,” said Jabbar.
Dwarfs in Iraq’s Kurdistan have also demanded they be allocated a seat in parliament.
Movies and soap operas, which often present dwarfs as thieves or clowns, only serve to hinder their position in society, Mahmoud Shamal Hassan, a social psychology lecturer at Iraq’s Mustansiriyah University, told Al Arabiya.
Additionally, a person’s physical appearance heavily influences formation of character, according to Hassan.
“If the physical appearance is characterized with beauty and is within the normal, one would be optimistic and capable of dealing with others. But one may also feel unaccepted by others as a result of his appearance. This will develop negative psychological emotions that leads one to hating his appearance,” he said.