The Guinness World Records have yet to confirm, but this British clan is fairly certain they have more albino members than any other living family.
The current record-holding family has four albino members, but this brood boasts 15.
Aslam Parvez and his brother were both living in Pakistan with albinism and were matched in marriage with a pair of sisters who also had the genetic trait. Aslam, 64, and his wife, Shameem, 65, went on to have six children, all albino. Of his brother’s seven children, four also got the genetic trait.
Two non-albino siblings of Aslam’s also went on to have, in total, three albino children. Shameem’s sister and one of her albino children have since passed away, or the family would count 17 albino members in total.
However, the recessive genetic condition, which causes a lack of melanin production and often also impacts eyesight, entirely skipped over the most recent 14-member generation of the family.
Aslam and Shameem’s eldest, Naseem Akhtar, 42, said she is grateful none of her three children inherited the trait — not because she is not proud of her DNA, but because of albinism’s impact on vision.
“Just like any disability, sight loss is not easy to deal with, no matter how optimistic you are,” Akhtar, who works at a sight-loss rehabilitation service, told Newsflare.
Akhtar and all of her siblings — Ghulam, 40, Haider, 38, Muqadas, 36, Musarat, 30, and Mohammed, 27 — are partially sighted due to their albinism causing an absence of pigment in their eyes’ irises. And while their shared condition brought the family closer together, Akhtar added, it also made them subject to a great deal of childhood bullying.
“We lived in constant terror, as well as shame,” she said.
“As kids, we would never be invited to birthday parties. We were always the last people to be picked for school sports teams because of our sight loss. We were constantly rejected from groups — none of us really had any friends,” she continued. “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.”
“People will always have things to say, but you don’t have to listen,” she said. “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.”
But she remains “proud of who we are,” which is why she reached out to Guinness.
“I applied for us to get in the Guinness Book of World Records because we are such a unique family and I do believe it’s something that should be marked in history,” Akhtar said. “I want people to know that even if you don’t fit in in the world, you are still important and can leave your mark on the world — and never lose hope.”
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