A British Asian family with 15 albino members says they’ve faced abuse and discrimination throughout their lives – but insist their condition has brought them closer together.
Pakistan-born Aslam Parvez, 64, and wife Shameem, 65, both have oculocutaneous albinism – affecting pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes – a condition affecting eyesight.
Mother-of-three Naseem Akhtar, 42, from Exeter, Devon, who is the eldest child of Aslam and Shameem, said life was tough growing up because they were viewed as different and would be called ‘Pak* albinos’ – but now she says the family are proud of their identity.
‘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.’
‘Throughout our lives, my family have put up with a lot of bullying and discrimination for the way we look and who we are, as well as having to cope with sight loss.’
‘But now I’m proud of who we are – people will always have things to say, but you don’t have to listen.