The Magic of Tattoos

Photo from

Pauline Ngo, Photojournalist

Most view tattoos simply as art on skin. However, have you ever thought about the possible benefits of tattoos, such as changing a life?


Seventeen year old, Samira Omar, was living in the UK when she suffered from bullying and was horribly attacked by her four classmates, who she thought were her friends; they beat her and burnt her with boiling water, which left her face permanently damaged and unrecognizable. “I remember looking into the mirror when I was calling for help, and I could see my skin completely hanging off me and my neck was burnt. It felt like as if I’ve been through hell and back,” admits Omar.


The traumatic incident that left her in so much physical and emotional pain was finally relieved when she met Basma Hameed back in her home country, Canada. Hameed is a professional in cosmetic tattooing and introduced Omar to the paramedical tattooing treatment. “For her to tell me I can actually have [my] color come back was just something amazing,” concedes Omar.


At age two, hot oil seriously burned Hameed in a kitchen accident, which left her with devastating scars even after going through more than one hundred painful procedures trying to fix it. Her plastic surgeon told her to not waste money on trying to repair the scars anymore and just go on a vacation. Nevertheless, she felt like that wasn’t the end of the road. Once she discovered cosmetic tattooing and trained to perform it, she transformed her own face then started a business, transforming the lives of others. Since she knows what kind of situation Omar is in, she decided to help her conceal the scars for free. It is evident how something so unfortunate can actually have good outcomes.


Isabelle Chau (12) confesses, “To be honest, if I were in Omar’s shoes, and I tried everything to fix my scars, I don’t know if I would get tattoos to cover my scars because I have an irrational fear of needles.” Before hearing about this unique story, Isabelle did know there were benefits to having tattoos, such as a way for people to express themselves and as a way to remember their loved ones; however, she never knew it has the power to transform someone’s life in such a positive way.