Egyptian burn victim takes on stigma through modeling

OWNER OF ACCESSORIES BRAND AND BURN VICTIM, HEND EL-BANNA, SAYING:

"My name is Hend El-Banna, I am 37 years old and live in Alexandria, I am a burn victim."

This Egyptian burn victim is challenging social stigma

Location: Alexandria, Egypt

Hend El-Banna models for her own accessories brand

to empower others like her and battle misconceptions towards burn victims

She’s founded an initiative aimed at supporting victims

after her personal struggles finding a stable job

OWNER OF ACCESSORIES BRAND AND BURN VICTIM, HEND EL-BANNA, SAYING:

"After having worked at my job for about a week, the manager came up to me and said that she's sorry but she didn't want me working with them because one of the children was afraid of the way my arms looked. The child told his father, and then his father threatened to pull him out of school. I was told that this would lead to the nursery losing money because children might be pulled out because of me."

OWNER OF ACCESSORIES BRAND AND BURN VICTIM, HEND EL-BANNA, SAYING:

"I've become famous for modeling clothes and accessories and after seeing this abroad on the internet, where people with burns model and sing, for example on ‘America's Got Talent’, and they are treated normally. But here, in Egypt it's not normal. When I first started modeling the accessories that I make, people warned me not to show my arms because they thought I was fishing for pity, they just see it from a completely different perspective."

In just three years, El-Banna's initiative has helped around 500 people

One such victim is Hanan Ashraf who was burned when she was eight

BURN VICTIM, HANAN ASHRAF EL-SAYED, SAYING:

"My name is Hanan Ashraf and I am my own hero."

BURN VICTIM, HANAN ASHRAF EL-SAYED, SAYING:

"When I was younger I couldn't look at myself. The first time I looked in a mirror was when I was in 12th grade. I never used to take photographs, if I hadn't taken one photograph in primary school, I would have never known what I really looked like."

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