Dubai: Size does matter when it’s a case of claiming a Guinness World Record. For two Egyptian siblings, their towering heights also helped them claim five world records in a span of one afternoon.
Meet Huda and Mohamed Shehata, the sister-brother duo from Cairo whose combined height stands at 13 feet and 7 inches. Yet, it’s not this impressive number that has caught the attention of the folks at Guinness World Records.
The siblings have managed to claim five titles between them, with 29-year-old Huda and 34-year-old Mohamed achieving the record of having the ‘Widest Arm Span’ of a living person for a female, at 236.3cm (7ft 8.4 inches), and a male, at 250.3cm (8ft 2.5 inches), respectively.
Separately, Huda also secured other Guinness World Records titles for the Largest Feet on a living person (female) with 33.1cm (1ft 1.02 inches) on her right foot, and the Largest Hands on a living person (female) with 24.3cm (9.56 inches) on her left hand. While Mohamed claimed the record title of Widest Hand span on a living person (male) with 31.3cm (12.32 inches) on his left hand.
Kenzy Defrawy, the Guinness World Records Adjudicator, presented Huda and Mohamed with the official titles at a medical clinic in Cairo. The family of the record-breaking pair were present, alongside Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr Khaled Emara and his medical staff, Dr Mahmoud El Shopaky and Dr Mohamed Nour.
Huda and Mohamed both live with their mother, Rouhiya Abdulaziz, in a small village 90 minutes outside the Egyptian capital. They are believed to be suffering from a benign tumour in their pituitary glands causing an excess production of growth hormones. a7e51869-f726-411f-8f06-ea14fed7e53a
According to Huda, she was 12 when her family realised she was growing taller than most of her peers. Local orthopaedists later diagnosed the benign tumour. Even though the young Egyptian did not complete her studies, she was proud she graduated with a few world records to her name.
“I could not live my life as other women did,” Huda said in a media statement. “I hope the recognition of Guinness World Records will change my life forever. I have always dreamed of dressing like other women, but I accept myself now and live with satisfaction and conviction.”
Mohamed, who was also diagnosed with the same tumour aged 12, also spoke about how life changed for him as a child. “Since the age of 12, my life has been turned upside down. I wasn’t used to the new lifestyle of tall people. Everything seems small in my hands, even shaking hands with people has become a reminder of how I differ from others,” he said in a statement.
The siblings further added that their height continues to grow even today. “My height continues to grow every year, about 3 to 4cm, and my limbs are growing unreasonably,” said Mohamed.
Considering the siblings are still growing, they may need to undergo a surgery to stop their growth. In a similar case, Sultan Kösen, the Tallest Man Living, in 2012 underwent an operation at the University of Virginia to treat a similar condition known as acromegaly, which develops when a benign tumour of the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. If the condition begins before puberty, it can also lead to gigantism, as is the case with Huda and Mohamed.