Muhammad Ikram, a 32 year old man, takes aim, flexes his neck and strikes with his chin, sending the cue ball across the table and sinking his shot in a corner pocket. Born without arms, Ikram has mastered the game of snooker, with his chin.
“I have met very good snooker players who tell me I am a real genius, and that I can bring great fame to Pakistan,” Ikram told. “He would eagerly watch the other boys play. He would keep wishing he also had arms so he could play like them,” said his mother. “Then he started using his chin.” Ikram has won several prizes in local tournaments over the past two years.
“He would come to the club and ask that he be allowed to play. We would look at his arms and feel he was unable to,” said a friend. “He insisted we allow him to … prove himself. When he did that, we saw he was actually very good.” Ikram says people appreciate his spirit, and some eateries allow him to eat for free, with waiters volunteering to spoon-feed him.
“God has not given me arms, but He has given me courage. And I have used that spirit to fulfil my ambition. So, no one should lose hope,” Ikram said. In the Special Olympic Games in the United Arab Emirates last year, 92 Pakistani athletes participated – winning 18 gold medals, 28 silver and 15 bronze across 10 different sports.