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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
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You would never expect to be walking down the street one day and have acid thrown on you, burning your skin and disfiguring your face, but for thousands of women worldwide this is the dry reality. Whilst the culprits are often never prosecuted in countries such as Pakistan, where on average there are 160 acid attacks in a year, the victims have the rest of their lives permanently turned upside down in a matter of seconds. This is not an account of acid victims however, this is the account of one amazingly inspirational lady who strives to make the victims’ lives that little bit better.
Musarrat Misbah is the owner of a beauty salon in Pakistan and is considered to be the country’s number one beauty expert, who first paved the way to the trend of beauty salons. Misbah has received qualifications from numerous institutions, including ITEC, SEPTEC, CEDESCO, British Electrolysis Association, WFSHS, IPB and Barbara Solomone Conservatory, and also styles actors and actresses for films. One day, over a decade ago, a woman walked into Musarat Misbah’s beauty salon with her face fully covered by a veil. She pleaded Misbah to do her job and make her beautiful again. As she uncovered her face Misbah took a step back trying not to gasp; the lady’s face was completely disfigured and all her features were unrecognisable, she had been the victim of an acid attack. Being not only an independent and successful beautician but a beautifully caring individual, Misbah sought to provide a surgeon for the lady through the salon’s profits. She was so utterly shocked and dismayed by the event that she felt the urge to continue aiding these women as much as possible. She advertised the welcoming of acid victims to her salon but did not expect a great turnout, instead she received around forty women on her doorstep on the first day. These women had not only the evident scars of terror covering their face but they seemed to be weak introvert characters. Whilst many assume that in Pakistan, like many other countries, acid attacks occur to lower class uneducated women this is not the case as even university professors have been subject to such inhumane acts of violence.
In Pakistan you can buy a litre of acid for a dollar, with a single dollar you can ruin someone’s entire life. No amount of plastic surgery can ever repay for the cruel injustice committed to these women but Misbah’s help is an act of kindness which is highly appreciated by all. Through donations and the salon’s profit Misbah provides the ladies with all the help they can get whilst offering many of them the possibility to work in her salon. In fact one of Misbah’s most loved employees is Busra Shafi, whom suffered an acid attack by her in-laws who thought the dowry of her marriage to their son way too small. Whilst her mother-in-law held her down her own husband and father-in-law poured acid on her. Some of these attacks do occur in the street but many of these acts are committed by men who know the victim in one way or another and want to emphasise their sense of entitlement of the lady. Misbah is a woman confident enough to stand up in a country of gender inequality and say she does not accept these vile acts. Only a few years ago did the law in Pakistan change to consider acid attacks an offence so the road to decreasing the number of attacks annually is long but it’s people like Misbah that make the journey a little less hard.
Misbah has set up an organisation named ‘Smile Again’ to directly aid victims of acid attacks and has helped raise awareness of the issue in her home country. In fact in 2012 Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy received an Oscar for Best Documentary due to her film "Saving Face.", which relives the accounts of two victims of acid attacks. Misbah’s impact on these women has been recognised worldwide and she has been awarded with the President’s Pride of Performance Award. From an ordinary lady engrossed in her own work Misbah has become a global symbol of intolerance to such cruelty. Her zeal for justice and kind-natured assistance to the victims of acid attacks definitely earn her recognition as one of the most inspiring and inspirational human beings I know of.
IMAGE 1: http://www.absolutepakistan.com/media/images/746e671f048727bd0f8326331f75807f.jpg Musarrat Misbah
IMAGE 2: http://i36.tinypic.com/4rdy6d.jpg One of Misbah’s beautician who suffered from an acid attack
Here is the link to the Smile Again organisation's page for more information: https://depilexsmileagain.wordpress.com/category/depilex-smile-again-metro-international/