Some Colombian and Mexican fans lifting up an Egyptian fan in a wheelchair in the fanzone so he can watch his country play 😩❤— OMAR 👑 (@Omar__cr7_) June 16, 2018
It's really more than just a game 🙏 pic.twitter.com/rPSCvB41f9
Although the FIFA World Cup is technically a competition between various countries on the field, it’s also an opportunity for fans from different parts of the world to unite over their love of soccer.
While there have been some disgusting and heinous situations in Russia during the festivities, such as a gay man who was left disabled after being brutally attacked, there have also been heartwarming moments, showing that humanity is not a total lost cause.
Case in point: 25-year-old Hassan Sedky, a master’s student from Egypt who is currently studying at the University of Texas at Arlington, found himself being lifted into the air in celebration by fans of rival teams.
According to BuzzFeed, Sedky — who is confined to a wheelchair — said he and his friend were at FIFA Fan Fest last week for the opening ceremony when the Mexico and Colombia fans around him picked his entire chair up, with him sitting in it, and raised him over the crowd as he shouted, “Vamos Egypto!”
"I think that was when the photo was taken," he said, adding that he had no idea because "at that moment, I felt I was on top of the world."
"I saw fans taking pictures, and I think I popped up on the big screen once, but that was it," he said.
However, that was not “it” at all because before he knew it, the photo of him had spread like wildfire.
After the picture was shared by the Desmotivaciones Futbol Facebook page, it garnered nearly 40,000 shares.
The post eventually made its way to other platforms including, Reddit and Twitter where it also received viral attention.
Sedky said he didn’t initially know that the photo had gone viral. It wasn’t until someone tagged him in it on Facebook that he realized how much traction it gained.
"Since then, it's been everywhere," he said. "I didn't expect any of it."
Mexicans and Colombian fans lifted the wheelchair of an Egyptian fan. This is the real meaning of the #WorldCup— Gabryela 🇲🇽 (@gabryBoschetto) June 17, 2018
And there are people that just call it "football", sadly they would never understand.
Te amo, México ❤🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/ehsKMppnan
This has to be the best World Cup picture I’ve seen so far. Colombian and Mexican fans raising this Egyptian fan to watch his national team. Football ❤️ pic.twitter.com/YHKgNJhg2N— Julian 🇫🇷🇦🇷🇺🇾 (@ElaficionadoFC) June 17, 2018
Sedky, whose spine was shattered in a car accident when he was 18, noted that his overall experience at the World Cup has been "amazing."
"I don't think I've spent an hour yet where random strangers haven't offered me help," he said.
As it turns out, Sedky had previously launched a foundation for differently-abled inclusion, and now he has become a visual symbol of his mission.
"It's an incredible feeling to know that I'm sending a message to the whole world and maybe potentially changing the perspective of other people," he said.
Sometimes, the most inspirational moments are the ones you least expect.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters