Nasir Sobhani is a barber who works six days a week in a shop. He cuts hair. On the seventh day, he gets on his long skateboard, packs up his barber gear, and approaches homeless people in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Melbourne, Australia, to ask them if they would like a free haircut.
If they say yes, he proceeds to cut their hair.
When he does find someone who is interested, he is able to provide a few seconds of normalcy to someone who hasn’t had something as basic as a haircut in a very long time. When he does find a taker, he is able to do this.
“They need actual human contact, some stimulus to help engage them in a form of intimacy with a human being that cares for them,” said Sobhani, a Canadian native who is now widely known as the “Streets Barber” thanks to a popular documentary that was uploaded to YouTube and received a lot of attention.
Sobhani is 26 years old.
During a Skype discussion with Good News Network that began at three in the morning Australia time, he took us on a tour of his workspace and showed us around.
He claims that the fact that he was himself addicted to cocaine and opiates allows him to empathize to many of his street “clients” who deal with addiction and alcoholism. This, in turn, makes it easier for him to have meaningful conversations with these individuals.
What I’m doing is my way of giving something back to the community. “I remember when I used to despise myself so much that I couldn’t even look in the mirror without breaking down in tears because I was so appalled by the person I had become,” he added.
“I find that a lot of my clients who live on the street feel so ashamed of how they are rooted within their own minds,”
Sobhani was able to complete his treatment at the rehabilitation facility, and after he was discharged, his family told him, “You should do what you enjoy doing: cutting hair.”
It was a hobby that he discovered at an early age while he was taking refuge from his violent older brother in the bathroom of their family home.
“I shut myself, who was then seven years old, in there for a period of two hours. He went on to add, “I was bored, so I lay some towels down, grabbed the shaver that belonged to my dad, and shaved off my peach fuzz mustache.”
Even though his clients might not be able to afford to leave him tips, they show their gratitude in other ways.
As Sobhani explores his shelves for souvenirs, he discovers a bracelet, some sketches, and a glass heart that were gifts from a woman whose hair he recently trimmed. The woman also gave him a glass heart.
She expressed her desire to him by saying, “I want you to have my heart.” However, the most satisfying aspect of it all for him is developing a relationship with another person and, occasionally, sowing the seeds of future success.
It’s possible that he’ll ask them why they drink, why they use, and what it would take for them to give it up, but that’s about all he’ll be able to accomplish given that he rarely meets these people again.
When his customers remain loyal to him, he expresses his gratitude in another way, which happens to be his preferred method.
“When someone comes up to me and says, “Nas, I’m not letting anyone else cut my hair!,” it is the biggest thank you that I could possibly receive.
The loyalty of the customers, the feeling that I am their barber, means the most to me,” he stated.
According to him, his faith is the primary force behind his quest to assist individuals who, like himself, have lost the will to face themselves in the mirror.
“In the Bahai faith, serving the community and helping others is really how we worship what we believe,” he explains.
“This is really the manner that we put our beliefs into action.” “It is not via sitting in a church, mosque, or synagogue praying to the wall, but rather through acts of service,” she said.
The faith inspires people to take action.”
He is going to keep trying, one seventh of a day at a time, despite the fact that nine out of ten individuals say no to him when he initially approaches them.