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Mon Dec 23, 2013, 10:32 AM

The kind barber and his cats

With two hefty sacks of cat food in her arms, Manuela Wroblewski can’t stop smiling as she whisks toward the familiar shop on the corner. She’s making her weekly visit to see Hussein the barber. He spots her through the picture window of his quiet shop and bursts through the door and into the sunlight, stretching his arms wide with a Turkish greeting. Hussein clasps his hands in gratitude as he eyes the bags of food and the two hurry over to the tiny food dishes lined up in the alley. Soon the sound of kibble clinks against the bowls and several stiff tailed cats begin to appear.

Here in Avsallar, Turkey, there is a cultural aversion to cats and dogs, and those who feed the animals are often scorned. But Hussein pays no mind to those who glare at him. He takes his time in the alley, kneeling for the longest while, stroking each cat and speaking softly. Hussein is simply a man who loves with his whole heart, and in this moment, he is lost in the comfort of his family.

As the two finish up and make their way back inside the shop, Hussein’s smile fades and Manuela can’t help but notice that he is beginning to look rather thin. Manuela, a native of Germany, has led a volunteer animal rescue program in Turkey for the last three years, but the language comes slowly. Only by chance, when a multilingual acquaintance arrives, does the room begin to darken as Hussein explains that he is about to lose his barber shop.

After decades in the same tiny room with immaculately polished scissors and grooming tools precisely aligned along the counter, Hussein has been told that he must leave. His withering barbershop simply doesn’t pay enough rent and with so few customers calling for his “old-fashioned” services, the landlord has invited in another tenant… one who won’t be feeding animals outside.

Fortunately, people read about his plight on Manuela’s Facebook page and donations atarted coming in. Hussein was able to secure a storefront in a dilapidated building close by. Despite having noo electricity or running water, it was in a good spot. In less than two weeks the barber was back in business again, thanks to the kindness of strangers. As for the cats, Manuela reports that his smallest customers are doing just fine


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Reply The kind barber and his cats (Original post)
hermetic Dec 2013 OP
Flaxbee Dec 2013 #1
hermetic Dec 2013 #2
Flaxbee Dec 2013 #3

Response to hermetic (Original post)

Mon Dec 23, 2013, 11:48 AM

1. thank you for this, hermetic.

excellent way to start the day.

I don't understand how there can be a 'cultural aversion' to cats and dogs, but then again, I know animals are having a really rough time in Romania, among other places.

People like Manuela and Hussein and those who support them are the only kinds of people I care to know...

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 23, 2013, 11:57 AM

2. Absolutely, Flax

I don't understand, either. Just extremely grateful for the good folks.

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 23, 2013, 12:13 PM

3. Also, here's a link to the Harmony Fund that helps Manuela help Hussein and others


If you can - consider a donation... click through the slides; this group does great work.

While I applaud the ASPCA and other groups here in the US, so many international groups need help, too.

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