While living in the United Kingdom, 17-year-old Samira Omar was attacked by her classmates. The Canadian student was beaten and burned with boiling water, leaving her scarred and unrecognizable. Omar visited many plastic surgeons and dermatologists who told her she would never get her color back.
That is until she met para-medical tattoo specialist Basma Hameed in Toronto, Canada. Hameed knows how all her patients feel when they seek her help. The Iraqi born woman was severely burned when she was two years old with hot oil in a kitchen accident. After enduring over 100 painful procedures, she too was turned away by experts telling her there was nothing more they could do to help her.
Instead, Hameed went to school to learn cosmetic tattooing. She was her first patient, trying the learned practice on herself. And now she is treating Omar free of charge through her own charity the Basma Hameed Survivors Foundation. “When I hear her story, I felt like I relate so much. I wanted to reach out to and help as much as possible,” says Hameed.
Samira Omar was burned with scalding hot water by her school bullies.
She was left with scars and skin discoloration.
Basma Hameed was able to relate to Omar’s situation. She went through laser treatments and plastic surgeries that did not help her.
“I was told by my plastic surgeon that I needed to take my money and go on a vacation,” remembers Hameed. She was not ready to give up and continued to research until she found cosmetic tattooing.
It all started when Hameed had her eyebrow tattooed after a failed eyebrow transplant.
“I was so happy that I thought to myself , why not do the same procedure using skin tone pigments on my scar tissue, to camouflage the discoloration,” says Hameed.
Hameed tattooed her own face matching her skin pigmentation.
She runs a clinic in Toronto, Canada. She opened her second location in Chicago.
Hameed has given Omar new hope to live a normal life without the painful scars from her attack.
“When she told me she could actually get my pigments back and find a skin color that could match my actual skin color, it’s just a big sigh of relief,” says Omar.
Hameed is used to seeing similar reactions with all of her clients.
“When I first meet my clients they can be so shy and insecure about their respective skin conditions, but once we do few treatments they are like brand new people,” explains Hameed.
Omar had to wait until her scars healed to begin the treatment.
Although, Hameed helped her to cover the discoloration by applying a scar concealer. This is a product she developed which she also tested on herself first.
Hameed is proud of what she has been able to do with her work.
“I am proud of myself for not giving up but what I’m mostly proud of is the reaction I get from people,” she says.
A horrific experience.
Omar is still trying to overcome the emotional and physical scars left by her attackers.
Omar was burned all over face, neck, and back.
She said the experience left her feeling like she “had been through hell and back.”
She has since returned to Canada to recover and heal.
“There’s always hope at the end of it. You’re never alone. Inner beauty outshines outer beauty,” explains Omar about her ordeal.
Hameed knows her work is important when she sees her patients’ demeanor change.
They smile, they laugh, and most importantly they feel like they can live again,” says Hameed.