The photo that took both Egypt, FIFA by storm

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His photo represented the joy of the Egyptians upon the qualification of the Egyptian National team to the World Cup after an absence of 28 years; it was selected by FIFA as an image that embodies the idea that football brings hope and will.

Mahmoud Abdeh, the young man who danced at Borg El Arab Stadium with one leg since the other was amputated, became the talk of the world and Egypt. His picture dancing with one leg and two crutches over the triumph of the Egyptian national team became trending in all the international media.

Mahmoud spoke to Al-Arabiya and said that he was injured as a small child and lost his right leg. He was crossing the street as he was coming home from the nursery when he was hit by a transport vehicle that caused his spine to be damaged and his leg to be amputated.

He says that he continued his education until he got a bachelor's degree in law. After graduating, he worked as a lawyer, adding that he has loved football since his youth and he is a supporter of Al Ahly.

 صاحب الصورة التي هزت مصر والفيفا
صاحب الصورة التي هزت مصر والفيفا

Mahmoud spent 300 pounds from his salary to buy a ticket and travel to Alexandria to watch his country's decisive match with Congo. He managed to reach the stadium about two hours before the game and was happy with the pre-game atmosphere and all the fans. Immediately after the administration of the stadium played national songs, he interacted with the tunes and danced; the audience was greatly pleased by his performance and asked him to dance again so he did.

He added that immediately after the whistle of the end of the game and the announcement of the victory of Egypt he did not believe himself and hugged everyone around him. He was so moved with joy that he run with one leg to shake hands with the players of the national team. He also danced with players Said Samir and Mahmud Kahraba. He was on the field to shake hands with Mohammed Salah but fell twice on the ground and could not reach him because of the crowds.

Mahmoud managed to achieve his dream by shaking hands with Mohammed Salah and embracing and congratulating him on winning in the dressing room, adding that he came out of the dressing room happy and did not know that his movements were captured by the great photographer Ezzat Alsmari.

He stated that he returned to his home before dawn and found a large number of journalists and Egyptian satellite channels waiting in front of the door of the house, and learned from them that his photos spread on social media everywhere.

Mahmoud said that his joy over the qualification of the Egyptian national team for the World Cup compensated for his loss. He felt as if he was never injured nor disabled and that his disability did not stop him from expressing his joy with the team of Egypt.

Mahmoud dreams of becoming a member of Al-Ahli club, and he hopes that Egypt will achieve an advanced rank in the World Cup.

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