How Saira learned to smile again

Published: March 22, 2011
Email

Saira Liquat holds a photograph of herself that was taken before the acid attack.

Saira, after her surgery. Saira Liquat holds a photograph of herself that was taken before the acid attack.

Saira Liaqat was a teenager when she married a relative. Both families agreed that she finish school before moving in with her husband.

However, just a few months later he was demanding she drop out.

One hot day in July 2003, her husband arrived at her house and doused Saira’s face with acid.

Her face was entirely disfigured, her right eye was blinded and she could barely see from the left.

The acid attack erased any trace of the pretty girl of the past – but it has not crushed her spirit.

Fortunately, she received help from the Depilex Smile again Foundation, an organisation started by Masarrat Misbah, head of Pakistan’s well-known Depilex salon chain.

After 18 surgical procedures Saira is now working as a beautician at Lahore’s Depilex.

She says she always wanted to be a beautician and will soon be opening up her own salon.  Her husband is on trial and she is awaiting justice but feels lucky to have received help.

As human beings, it is our duty to help these victims of domestic violence. Acid and kerosene attacks are barbaric crimes that need to be stopped.

We read about them nearly every day – but do we do anything?

Let Saira’s story inspire you to help victims who are suffering in silence.

najia.naqvi

Najia Naqvi

An accountancy student based in Toronto,Canada.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.