Shivan Daoud, 32 years old, from Syria

Part 1

Ritsona Refugee Camp is one of the most isolated in Greece, some 30mins away from the nearest town or shop...but that doesn't stop it from having a Men’s Hair Salon. Why should it?

Shivan Daoud used to be a barber back in Syria so six months ago, unable to work while waiting for his asylum application to be processed, and bored with the tedium of everyday camp life, he decided to put power back into his own hands and create his own makeshift barbershop. It filled a hole not only in his life, but also for the community around him.

There were no haircutting services for men in Ritsona prior to Shivan’s entrepreneurial feat, and it would take 30mins in one of the regular buses from camp into town. Cuts, crops, colouring, styling and massages are some of the services now being provided to the men in Ritsona Refugee camp. And haircuts may seem like a small thing to many of us. But just think of that feeling after a fresh haircut. You get that spring in your step. You feel renewed.

Part 2

Shivan now cuts the hair of camp residents and helps put the spring in the step of hundreds of men and boys in the community, not to mention the humanitarian staff and volunteers around camp! The mixture of talc and pure lemon scent that he uses as aftershave creates a distinct smell reminiscent of old barbershops.

“People come here not only to get their hair cut but to discuss everyday life. They share their worries, their fears and their thoughts. I am so happy, because I am working but I am sad because I am still here,” confesses Shivan.

Amongst the clouds, we love to see the silver linings that are Shivan.


Photos & Story: I AM YOU.

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