Among the alleys of the old town in the West Bank city of Hebron, the seventy-year-old Muhammad Ghaleb Jaber has been practicing the barber’s profession for nearly 50 years, in a small shop whose walls are curved, old and corroded. He is one of the oldest barbers in the city.
Jaber talked about his beginnings in the barber profession, which he learned, at the age of thirteen, at the hands of the barber of his neighborhood, Abdel Moneim Shabana, and continued to move between a number of salons, until he opened his own salon in 1970, and after this long period, the place became, Part of his life, history and identity. Jaber keeps his old tools, refusing to replace them with newer ones, including a German-made razor that is more than 60 years old, and an Ottoman oil stone with which the razor shines.
Jaber told Al-Bayan, most of my clients are elderly, I only master old haircuts, and my profession does not depend on cutting and grooming hair and beard, as I have learned to extract teeth, fix fractures, and heal wounds.
Jaber did not decorate the walls of his salon with pictures of the haircuts of movie stars, as he does not believe in the so-called “fashion”, which changes from year to year, and which the modern media helped to spread, and criticizes modern haircuts, saying, “Where are the old haircuts of today?” He considered modern cuts “crazy foreign fashion”, which made all his customers old, who believe in the old, and reject fashion.
He pointed out that some people call his salon “The Seniors’ Salon”, since his clients are elderly people, who are accustomed to cutting their hair in the old, usual way, without any additions.
Monday is considered a holiday for barbers, in which barbershops close their doors, but the seventy Jaber goes to his salon on this day, for fun, as he considers it the best place for him to gather with lifelong friends.