Yasmina KASMI BAKKALI is French and works as an English teacher at a high school. She survived severe burns as a child and is now a volunteer at the Burns and Smiles Association in France. Yasmina was my best friend at University in Toulouse, she already was an avid language learner and communicator then.
Yasmina loves sports: she ran a marathon race. She feels that a marathon teaches you a life lesson: patience, training, perseverance, endurance, adaptability and regularity. She also loves to sing and has the most dazzling smile that I know. She has been in a relationship with her lovely partner, Philippe, for 30 years. They are the proud parents of a son.
Recently, she ran a school project entitled: Representations of our own gaze, representations of other people’s gazes: how about changing other people’s gazes? It tackles the topics of segregation, handicap, police and citizens, professional skills and fake news. As an educator, she is the centre of attention in her classroom and knows how to handle the intense staring by her pupils.
What are the missions of Burns and Smiles?
- To inform burn survivors and their family members
- To help burn survivors who are cut off from society to socialize
- To assist them in their job search
- To make them feel better thanks to wellness treatments
What specific topics do you address personally?
What is your role in the organisation?
How did you get involved?
Growing up did you have any role models yourself?
My surgeon, Mr. Daniel ROUGE who, through his medical care and therapeutic words, saved my life.
Wilfrid ROTGE, a linguistics professor at La Sorbonne University, is a grammar expert. He makes me aware of the importance of all kinds of language to communicate. He paved the way for me to write as part of my work.
My twin sister who is a Spanish teacher, my confidant and “second brain”: Sophia KASMI BAKKALI whose wisdom, humility and intelligence are inspiring to me.
Mrs Sophie Massé GAUDENS and Laurent GAUDENS, who trusted me and believed in me. She offered me the opportunity to represent Dulcenae as a model. Dulcenae is the first inclusive Beauty parlour in France. I was honoured to shoot some videos to showcase the virtues of the Beauty parlour’s cosmetics which people with burns can safely use to feel pampered and glamourous. Caring and knowledgeable staff teach you how to apply them.
There was going to be a very artistic photo exhibition about my own burn scars, my own gaze about my scars as well. It is postponed because of the lockdown. The photographer is Ombeline de France. I would like it to be displayed both in France and The United Kingdom.