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juhlissa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ali had a "congenital paralysis of his lower facial muscles, a condition that rendered him unable to smile and left him perpetually grim-faced."

 

He had also had polio as a child, and his right leg was twisted and atrophied and is described as "sallow skin over bone with little in between except a paper-thin layer of muscle."  Because of this, he walks in a tilted way by "[swinging] his scraggly leg in a sweeping arc."

 

Ali was often made fun of and called Babalu or Boogeyman by the neighborhood children because of these deformities.

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The Kite Runner

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