Samar Mosaad: Once an acid victim, now a helping hand
Samar Mosaad before the acid attack in 2011 (right), after the attack (middle), and after receiving treatment in Dubai (left)
Dubai - Like in Sanaa Ahmed's case, the attack was out of jealousy when she had gotten engaged after divorcing him.
By Sherouk Zakaria
Published: Tue 29 Aug 2017, 9:00 PM
Last updated: Tue 29 Aug 2017, 11:07 PM
Samar Mosaad, 32, started raising funds and reaching out to other victims, including Ahmed, when she faced an attack herself in 2011 by her former husband in Egypt.
Like in Sanaa Ahmed's case, the attack was out of jealousy when she had gotten engaged after divorcing him. "Congratulations," he said before throwing the acid that burned her right eye and face and her sister's arm.
"My sister and I were at the supermarket to buy items for my father's birthday celebration. He waited until we reached our building before attacking us with the substance," said Mosaad.
"The pain was indescribable and nothing in the world could compare to it." Mosaad received over 27 reconstructive surgeries in Egypt and Thailand. Last year, she received an orbital eye-prosthetics from Dubai's Omniyati Prosthetics Arts Centre and made it her mission to help other victims receive treatment in Dubai in collaboration with other doctors.
"I worked for a year and a half nonstop to be able to raise enough money to come to Dubai. I intend to do the same for the other girls," said the newlywed Mosaad who now resides with her husband in the UAE, noting that no insurance or charities cover their medical costs as it is labelled under "plastic surgeries".
Tougher penalties needed against attackers
Like Ahmed's assailant, Mosaad's divorcee was sentenced to 10 years in jail after the attack. "In some parts of the world, attackers are sentenced to life imprisonment, but unfortunately it isn't the case in some other countries."
She said imposing jail terms isn't enough to stop others from performing the act. And while insurance companies refuse to cover pricey medical costs, Mosaad said acid attack victims need the society's support.
"Why are we marginalised? I've been turned down continuously during job interviews because of my appearance. People bully us in schools, colleges and public transport. It's like we are being punished for being victims," said Mosaad. She called on governments to support victims and direct their energy towards positive efforts and inspiring others.