Dubai At 88 centimetres (2 feet 8 inches), Sergeant Aisha Hamoudi is about the size of a three-year-old girl. But it hasn’t stopped the 31-year-old Fujairah policewoman from dreaming big.
Aisha has written to the Guinness World Records, staking claim to the title of the world’s shortest policewoman so that she can leverage the recognition and become an ambassador for the physically challenged. “It will help me champion the cause of people with special needs and highlight their problems and concerns,” she said in an interview with XPRESS.
Aisha joined the Al Bidiya police station in Fujairah after graduating from Al Ain based Vocational Education and Training Institute for Special Needs People which also offers job placements.
“I had three choices — work at a call centre with a telecom company, join a bank or get into the police force. The police sector was my natural choice because it is the establishment closest to the people. My father and younger brothers are in the force too. It’s in our blood. I feel I wouldn’t have been able to follow in my father’s footsteps and serve my community better if I worked elsewhere.”
Interestingly, Aisha was turned down when she applied for a job at the nearest police station — but the rejection had nothing to do with her height. “It was just that they didn’t have a position for a female officer. But I knew my rights. At the rehabilitation centre, I had learnt that I could choose my workplace. Eventually, the authorities conceded to my request.”
The eldest of five sisters and two brothers, Aisha, who tips the scales at just 20kg, is the only one in her family with this condition - caused by a growth hormone deficiency.
Yet she leads a normal life and takes great pride in her work — even representing her police station on National Days and other important functions.
At one such function her friend who has a similar handicap suggested that people with special needs should live in a separate community. Aisha begged to differ.
“I explained to her that disability is nothing to be ashamed of, and should not prevent anyone from striving to lead a normal life. I’d like to get married some day but not to someone who shares my condition as I fear it would pass on to our children.”
Aisha said she has never allowed her size to become a stumbling block. “Disability is a state of mind, it can’t get in your way. It’s up to you whether you want to work around it or let it become an impediment.”