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Attack victim's raw honesty draws praise

Student documents recovery on social media, posts selfies without make-up


Student Resham Khan, 21, had everything going for her.

The business management student had recently returned from an exchange year in Cyprus and was well on her way to embarking on a new job and a sideline as a model.

But all that changed when a man threw a corrosive substance at Ms Khan and her cousin, Mr Jameel Muhktar, on June 21 while the duo were stuck in traffic in London.

She suffered injuries to her left eye, and burns across her arms, legs, face and shoulder, and needed a skin graft.

Her cousin fared worse.

He was placed in an induced coma and had first-degree burns across his entire body.

Ms Resham Khan, who suffered multiple burns and needed a skin graft, often posts selfies without make-up (left), a refreshing change from the heavily edited photos on social media. Her courage won over many fans. PHOTO: RESHAM KHAN


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It would be fair to say that many people would have sunk into the depths of depression after such a horrendous attack.

But Ms Khan decided to take to social media to document her recovery, and in the process, earned plaudits for her strength and fortitude.

On Snapchat and Instagram, for instance, she frequently posts selfies without make-up, a refreshing change from the heavily edited photos proliferating on social media.

That is not to say Ms Khan does not use apps to tweak her photos.

With brutal honesty, she disclosed that she sometimes edits her photographs and chooses the best angles in which to hide her injuries.

"I got those mushy emotional tears of happiness. I looked in the mirror and I felt like I looked like the old me again," she said recently.

"Make-up did a great job and so did angles and an edit. I've loved the compliments but the harsh reality is it is not real," she added.

Her dark humour, frequent interactions with her fans and honesty have struck a chord with many. She has been called an inspiration and a superhero.

A crowdfunding page set up by her friend has surpassed its target, reaching almost £60,000 (S$110,000) in two months.

The suspect in the attack is due to be charged in November.

Taking the high road, Ms Khan said: "Make peace with each other and the world.

"Letting this man or the events of the past fill you up with hate will only darken the soul."


Ms Remi Baker, strategy director of marketing firm PHD, recently decided to implant two microchips in her hands.

She now has an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip in her left hand that links to her work access card.

This allows her to open doors in the office and operate the lift and printer with a tap of her hand.

On her right hand, she installed an NFC (near-field communication) chip which allows her to connect other people to her LinkedIn account by tapping her hand against their phone. The NFC chip can be updated using a mobile phone application.

Ms Baker told Mumbrella that she has always been intrigued by technology and her decision stems from her interest in blurring the lines between humanity and technology, and the sheer convenience of it all.

She said she was surprised by how divided opinions were of her implants. Some of the topics which came up were whether she could be tracked, or if her chips could be hacked.

"In a future, where this type of merge could happen at scale, there are some genuine concerns that will need to be addressed," she said.

"Just as all technology comes with benefits, it also has its inevitable dangers and pitfalls."

But to her, the results mattered.

"Imagine a day when we leave the office, hop in the car, drive home, enter the front door, cook dinner in the oven and boil the kettle for a cup of tea, all without needing to turn on a single switch," she said.


Comedian Jimmy Kimmel making fun of US Republican Senator Ted Cruz after the politician, or a staff member manning his Twitter account, reportedly "liked" a two-minute pornographic video.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel making fun of US Republican Senator Ted Cruz after the politician, or a staff member manning his Twitter account, reportedly "liked" a two-minute pornographic video. PHOTO: JIMMY KIMMEL'S TWITTER PAGE

Last year, US Republican Senator Ted Cruz unsuccessfully ran for the presidency.

On Sept 11, Mr Cruz, or at least a staff member manning his Twitter account, "liked" a two-minute pornographic video featuring a man, two women and a sofa. It was taken down within 40 minutes.

But, as everyone knows, even a minute on the Internet is a long, long time.

Mr Cruz, as well as porn provider @SexuallPosts, started trending immediately.

Savvy social media users started to poke fun at the politician, who portrays himself as a father of two with conservative social views and had in 2007 tried to ban sex toys .

Twitter user Elijah Daniel said: "Ted Cruz liking porn on Twitter on 9/11 is wild. There's literally no way we don't live in the matrix."

Even comedian Jimmy Kimmel got in on the act, with a post that read: "Well done Ted Cruz using the power of 'like' to illustrate the evils of porn."

And, of course, Sexuall Posts thanked him for watching on their social media channels.

Mr Cruz initially tried to avoid the controversy by ignoring it.

But after more than 200,000 tweets of jokes and photoshopped images, he told reporters that he did not do it and it was a "staffing issue".

"It's not going to happen again," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 17, 2017, with the headline 'Attack victim's raw honesty draws praise'. Print Edition | Subscribe