These short people are taking part in a campaign called “Momenaneh” or “The Believers” in Tehran’s southern Mahallati neighbourhood.
From afar one imagines they are all children who have come to help; but when you take off your shoes and enter the mosque, you will realise they are all people of short stature.
Zinat Sheikhi is the youngest and smallest of the short people who have come to help. She has a master’s degree in public relations and got acting experience.
“My family and I live in a town outside Tehran called Pakdasht. Most of the people there are from the working class. I have seen the poverty of our neighbours in person. Since I entered this mosque, I imagine the moment when a stranger knocks the door of one of our poor neighbours leaving one of these aid packages behind the door. You may not know how happy they would be, but I feel it in my bones,” says Zinat.
Meeting with COVID-19 Patients
Ziba Jalilvand is a young short woman who used to go to a hospital to help patients and medical staff, but today she has participated in this charity. She laughs when she remembers the moment she met the corona patients.
“What always upsets us is that people in the society look at us very carefully and do not think at all that we may get upset. The meticulous look of ordinary people in our society bothers us. You may not believe that when we face an ordinary person, they even stare at our fingers. This happened in the hospital as well; but the interesting thing was that we were not upset at all, as if our visit to the hospital made us think differently. I will never forget the moment when a patient with an oxygen mask who was moving with difficulty, lifted his head from the pillow with all his might to see us better. I was really happy to see this scene. Our unfit suits have made our looks funnier. Even the posture of our friends in blue clothes made us laugh. An old man kept saying please bring a wheelchair. I want to go and see these kids in the hall. His companion explained to us that he had not spoken a word since morning, and now, he was talking and laughing,” she added.
“These clothes were so large for us. Honestly, I laughed so hard at my friends. We tried to follow all the health protocols. We were walking down the hall when we noticed a new patient entering the ward. He was a middle-aged man trying to keep his mask on his face. Sitting in a wheelchair, he was as tall as us. As soon as he approached us, he was excited, but he suddenly coughed in our face. Until then, I kept reminding my friends not to get close and not to touch their masks. Seeing this scene, I helplessly said, Sweet Zombie, and we all laughed together,” he continued.
Yusef went on to say that a doctor in the ward told them “Don’t worry. No short person has been infected with the corona so far!” Of course, our argument was something else, he noted. “We think that the Coronavirus has looked at our stature thinking we were children and gave up on us,” said Yusef.