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The selfless Stanley Turkish barber who cuts homeless people's hair for free

[July 31, 2020: Chronicle Live]



Feeling‌ ‌alone,‌ ‌lost‌ ‌and‌ ‌broken,‌ ‌homeless‌ ‌people‌ ‌suffer‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌streets‌ ‌every‌ ‌day.‌ ‌


Hundreds‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌walk‌ ‌past,‌ ‌quickly‌ ‌judging‌ ‌and‌ ‌never‌ ‌giving‌ ‌them‌ ‌a‌ ‌second‌ ‌thought.‌ ‌


But‌ ‌following‌ ‌the‌ ‌Government's‌ ‌announcement‌ ‌that‌ ‌barbers‌ ‌could‌ ‌reopen‌ ‌on‌ ‌July‌ ‌4,‌ ‌one ‌inspirational‌ ‌barber‌ ‌rushed‌ ‌‌to‌ ‌offer‌ ‌free‌ ‌haircuts,‌ ‌shaves‌ ‌and‌ ‌hot‌ ‌drinks‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌homeless.‌ ‌


Murtada‌ ‌Younis‌ has been helping those in need since last December, but when‌ ‌coronavirus‌ ‌lockdown‌ ‌was‌ ‌announced‌ ‌on‌ ‌March‌ ‌23,‌ ‌he‌ ‌was‌ ‌unable‌ ‌to‌ ‌continue.


Now‌ ‌Murtada‌,‌ ‌who‌ ‌is‌ ‌known‌ ‌to‌ ‌many‌ ‌as‌ ‌Max,‌ ‌is‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌moon‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌back‌ ‌out‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌streets.

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The‌ ‌34-year-old‌ ‌said:‌ ‌"Lockdown‌ ‌has‌ ‌made‌ ‌me‌ ‌realise‌ ‌one‌ ‌thing‌ ‌that‌ ‌human‌ ‌life,‌ ‌health‌ ‌and‌ ‌family‌ ‌is‌ ‌much‌ ‌more‌ ‌important‌ ‌than‌ ‌materialistic‌ ‌things.‌ ‌


"Helping‌ ‌each‌ ‌other‌ ‌and‌ ‌supporting‌ ‌each‌ ‌other‌ ‌is‌ ‌more‌ ‌important‌ ‌anything.‌ ‌


"The people‌ ‌are‌ ‌happy‌ ‌and‌ ‌excited ‌and‌ ‌sometimes‌ ‌will‌ ‌hug‌ ‌me‌ ‌and‌ ‌cry‌ ‌and‌‌ ‌tell‌ ‌me‌ ‌that‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌the‌ ‌only‌ ‌person‌ ‌who‌ ‌cares‌ ‌about‌ ‌them.‌ ‌ ‌


"They also ‌tell‌ ‌me‌ ‌that‌ ‌people‌ ‌avoid‌ ‌looking‌ ‌into‌ ‌their‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌the‌ ‌only‌ ‌person‌ ‌who‌ ‌actually‌ ‌asked‌ ‌them‌ ‌how‌ ‌is‌ ‌their‌ ‌day‌ ‌going.‌ ‌


"A‌ ‌fresh‌ ‌haircut‌ ‌and‌ ‌shave‌ ‌makes‌ ‌their‌ ‌day. ‌I‌ ‌think‌ ‌they‌ ‌feel‌ ‌a‌ ‌bit‌ ‌more‌ ‌confident‌ ‌and‌ ‌this‌ ‌positively‌ ‌affects‌ ‌the‌ ‌way‌ ‌they‌ ‌see‌ ‌the‌ ‌world,‌ ‌at‌ ‌least‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌day."


Murtada‌ ‌moved‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌UK‌ ‌from‌ ‌Turkey‌ ‌14‌ ‌years‌ ‌ago‌ ‌to‌ ‌study‌ ‌at‌ ‌university‌ ‌whilst‌ ‌working‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌barber.‌ ‌ ‌


Following‌ ‌his‌ ‌passion,‌ ‌he ‌decided‌ ‌to‌ ‌open‌ ‌his‌ ‌own‌ ‌barbershop,‌ ‌Huseyin's‌ ‌Turkish‌ ‌Barbers‌ ‌based‌ ‌in‌ ‌Stanley,‌ County Durham, ‌where‌ ‌he‌ ‌has‌ ‌become‌ ‌a‌ ‌much-loved‌ ‌member‌ ‌of‌ ‌his‌ ‌community.‌ ‌ ‌


Although‌ ‌lockdown‌ ‌has‌ ‌impacted‌ ‌him‌ ‌financially‌ ‌due‌ ‌to‌ ‌his‌ ‌shop‌ ‌being‌ ‌closed,‌ ‌big-hearted‌ ‌Murtada ‌still‌ ‌plans‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌all‌ ‌he‌ ‌can‌ ‌to‌ ‌continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌support‌ ‌the‌ ‌homeless‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌future.‌ ‌ ‌


He‌ ‌added:‌ ‌"Even‌ ‌though‌ ‌this‌ ‌is‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌a‌ ‌harsh‌ ‌year‌ ‌in‌ ‌terms‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌barbers'‌ ‌income‌ ‌as‌ ‌we‌ ‌already‌ ‌see‌ ‌much‌ ‌less‌ ‌income‌ ‌than‌ ‌before‌ ‌the‌ ‌lockdown‌ ‌started,‌ ‌I‌ ‌plan‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌the‌ ‌homeless‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌regular‌ ‌basis.‌... Read More


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