“Step outside of the box and others will follow” by Kennesha Bell and Amani Khlifa
I told my son I believe that it is important to give and serve but I didn’t think that I was doing enough to help other people. Yes, I am teacher and I help little people every day but that is my career. Then my partner, Nàzma (the very talented Henna Artist from Sri Lanka), called me to do an interview with her. She wants to get her free services out there and serve, so that more people are aware and can use her. For some reason, she has not gotten any call backs for women with cancer or alopecia wanting henna crowns for their bald heads here in Qatar. She has contacted the cancer society here and still no responses. I have my own opinions about that. I think people here are ashamed. I told her that if she was in America, she would have too many clients to handle.
I was first interviewed by a young Northwestern University student named Noof. I met her at a local mall, where she asked me a few questions about how Nàzma and I hooked up and my perception on the culture here and its response to hair loss. She then wrote a paper as part of her assignment for school.
You can read the feature story here:
After that initial interview we just called ourselves partners. Each time Nàzma called, I answered. She was contacted by a Qatar University college student, a journalist, Amani Ben Khlifa (famous from AJ+ as well). Amani did a documentary on us and presented it to her school. I was so bummed that I couldn’t make it to the presentation because I had prior engagements but I was honored to have been a part of it.
My featured Image above was from the front of the brochure she created and the documentary is here:
One of our proudest achievements Nàzma and I did, was the interview with Al Jazeera. Laura Burdon-Manley and her videographer came to my flat and recorded a whole news story on November 14, 2017.
This morning Nàzma sent me this Whatsapp message, “Kennesha we will be on aljazeera…I don’t know when, everyone messaging me that they saw me…” No-one told us when it would be airing and apparently it had already aired. We searched and searched through the tv channels and online. Nàzma was able to find it by scrolling back through the news on Al Jazeera English Live and youtube. And then while sitting in front of the television, there it was: My big bald, beautiful head. They aired the Headline again and I was so proud of myself and my partner. Then Laura, who was in London, sent us the clip and here it is:
So now I’m thinking, I am helping people, through my story, at least I hope that I am. I would love to be the face of alopecia and inspire other women, who like me, are bald and beautiful. It has been an internal journey to accept me, but I hope that my external journey is just beginning, the journey to help others to accept themselves.
I am using my imperfection as my Superpower! What is your SuperPower?
Special thank you to Nàzmä Màzhar- a very special and talented person, Noof Al-Ahmad, Amani Ben Khlifa, Ahmed Photography, Laura Burdon-Manley for helping to get the word out.
I value the opinion of my readers and would love to hear from you, do you have any suggestions of how I can advocate more for alopecia sufferers, inspire other women and or become the face of alopecia? Please leave a comment with your suggestions!
If you or someone you know has alopecia please join my facebook group: For Women Living with Alopecia.