Stunning Albino Sisters Who Were Born 12 Years Apart Become Internet Sensations For Their Unique Appearance
Being different is almost always never easy, but it can be such a beautiful thing. That is the case of these two albino sisters from Kazakhstan.
Extraordinary young girls
Asel and Kamila Kalaganova are sisters born 12 years apart, yet they bear such a glaring similarity. Despite the age-gap, they are both albinos. If they were just a little bit closer in age, you might assume that they are twins. The girls have an 8-year-old brother, Aldiyar who has a regular Kazakh appearance with darker skin.
The birth of a child with such blonde hair and light skin came as a shock to everyone
When Asel was born, she had such fair skin and blonde hair. She looked so different from her parents, 38-year-old Aiman Sarkitova and Lldar, who have much darker skin and hair.
“The first major shock was when my first daughter was born. Everyone would gawp at her in surprise, and some people even assumed that my husband was Russian. The community was stunned,” said Aiman.
“People are surprised that we are albino. Many people do not know what albinos are,” said Asel
She got numerous questions from curious people on whether she dyed Asel’s hair. Even the girl’s father was confused. He said, “At first, I didn’t understand why my daughter was born so blonde.”
The parents finally got an answer
Genetics is a powerful thing. At a later family get-together, the couple discovered that there were albinos in both their families — what are the odds?
On Lldar’s side, his aunt was an albino while Aiman’s great grandfather and brother were albinos.
Asel confused people with her looks. Her birth came with controversy because people thought her real father had to be a Russian. There wasn’t much information on genetics then and albinism was not well understood.
“When I gave birth to my eldest, genetics was not so developed with us. It is developing only now. The doctors were shocked and thought that she was Russian. Then I started reading about this matter, I have learned that my children are albinos,” said Aiman.
“At the very beginning, everyone was shocked, surprised. I did not know what to do myself, how to live,” she added.
When Kamila was born, even little Aldiyar, her other child was confused as to why his sisters both look different than him. He didn’t have any questions about Asel, but he became so curious when the other one was born and still looked like her.
He had to ask, “Mum, why are they like that? Why am I not like them, not like my sisters?” She gave him satisfactory answers and now he is proud of the girl’s uniqueness.
According to Aiman, “He realizes that people are looking at the girls, and even begins to boast, proudly telling people about his unique sisters.” 
The girls haven’t always had it easy
Their community was quite uninformed about albinism so when Asel was born she had a somewhat difficult time getting along with people. Her mum said she found it difficult to make friends because “She could not connect with the other kids in the playground, they were all afraid of her and would run away because of her look, her hair, and eye color.”
When Kamila was born, it was over a decade later, and the people were much more informed and accepting. Now Asel has several friends and nobody gives her a hard time.
They do have to get some special treatment
The girls have to stay out of the sun because of how sensitive their skin is. “If I go outside in the afternoon, then I definitely apply sunscreen, put on clothes to protect my skin, headgear or use an umbrella. In the evening, when there is almost no sun, it’s much easier for me,” said Asel.
Also, they have eye problems and Asel has to wear glasses. She even had to go to a special school for handicapped kids but has since transferred to a regular one.
The girls are doing exceptionally well now
They are in high demand in Kazakhstan as models because of their unique appearance. Asel began modeling at 10 years old and had thousands of followers. Now, she has almost 50,000 followers on Instagram.
Wherever they go they get a lot of attention. But their mum doesn’t think they are that much different from other kids. “Albinos do not differ much from other children, only their hair, eyelashes, eyes, and skin color,” she said.
They do face a couple of challenges due to their sensitive skin, and the temperature of their area doesn’t make it any easier. “Aktau is very hot and humid. Asel goes to school in sunglasses and with an umbrella,” said Aiman.
For that reason, they plan on moving to a more temperate city such as the capital Nursultan.
Albinism: A little extra information
Albinism is a rare, genetically inherited difference present at birth. For an individual to be an albino, the parents do not have to be albinos, they just have to both carry the genes responsible for albinism.
Estimates show that 1 in every 17,000 to 20,000 people in North America and Europe have some form of albinism. It has a higher prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa with about 1 in 1,400 people having the condition in Tanzania, and 1 in 1,000 in certain parts of Zimbabwe.
The lack of pigmentation that is the hallmark of albinism causes vulnerability to the sun and bright light. That is why albinos have visual impairments and are prone to skin cancer.
Discrimination against albinos
It is very unfortunate that this is even a problem, but in all parts of the world, albinos face discrimination of varying degrees. This is often due to their skin color and on the grounds of disability from their visual impairments. The degree of discrimination is much higher in places where the majority of the general population is dark-skinned.
Albinos in sub-Saharan African countries have it harder. This is often due to myths and false beliefs on albinism over there. This is caused by ignorance, long-standing stigma, poverty, and belief in witchcraft. Since 2010, there have been around 700 attacks and killings of albinos in 28 sub-Saharan African countries.
Albinos are just like every other person. They do not deserve to be discriminated against for any reason. The fact that the Kazakh albino sisters are doing so well is a testament to the great strides made in educating people about albinism today.
Good luck to the girls and every other albino in the world. Here’s to wishing them protection from the sun, as well as happiness.