Barbershop helps community members fill their days while waiting for possible resettlement. Learning new skills allows the men to feel as though they are not wasting their time and could potentially lead to a source of income in their futures. These new skills can help community members access the informal market or barter their skills for other things or services they need. The Barbershop also provides a place for the men of the community to gather and bond.

Assem, participant of the barbershop program, shared his story with us! 

Assem

Did you ever think you’d learn barbershop skills?

No, honestly, I never did. I never expected that in only three to four months I would go from being unable to hold scissors or use a brush to being able to cut and shave peoples’ hair so well. This is all thanks to Sasha’s organisation who started the wonderful Barbershop program, and our instructor, Samer, who has always done his best to help us since the beginning of the course until the end.

Did you work in another occupation before?

Yes, I did. I used to be a goldsmith.

How was the learning period? Did you make mistakes?

On the first day, we all held the scissors in the wrong way! We began with cutting a piece of fabric slowly. Of course, we also made many mistakes with cutting hair; a person can’t learn unless they make mistakes!

What’s a funny story you could share with us?

I will not mention any names, but when we began to learn threading, we made so many mistakes; some people lost a part of their mustache!

Did you make any new friends?

Yes, I did. On the first day, we were all strangers, but now we are all close and keep in contact.

What’s the most useful thing you learned?

For, the most useful thing that helped me is the different courses Sasha made for group barbershop both here in Hashemi and at the downtown center. That made a big difference because of this, I had many appointments in the same day to cut hair.

Do you see yourself working as a barber in the future?

Definitely. It has become something I really like doing! Everyday, the same people would come back to me to cut their hair and I cut almost all of their hair until there is nothing left anymore!

What are your wishes for the future?

I only wish the best for everyone!

Was this program useful to you?

Yes! This program was very useful. I have noticed a lot of improvement from day one until today and I’d love to continue working as a barber in the future!

Did it feel like home because of how close you grew with other participants in the program?

Definitely, it felt like a new family. The friends, the instructors; we have all become a big family thanks to this program.

 

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