THE STREETS BARBER
Nasir Sobhani is The Streets Barber. He was born in 1988 and raised in Japan, of Iranian heritage, a Canadian citizen, and a member of the Baha’i Faith. He has been living in Australia since 2012. Former drug addict, following a 2-month stay in rehab in Vancouver, Canada, he decided to move to Melbourne, Australia, where his older brother has been living since 2008.
Beyond finding newfound sobriety, it was also in rehab that he decided to more seriously consider pursuing a career in cutting hair. He quickly grew to love Australia and found himself apprenticing with an incredible mentor named Samar at her barbershop, Electric Brain, in Fitzroy North. One day, a heroin addict who used to wash car windows outside the shop came in, proudly announcing that he had been off drugs for a month and that he wanted a haircut with money he had saved. Nas and this customer shared stories from their pasts during the entire haircut, and just before he was about to leave, the gentleman’s mother came in, with tears in her eyes.
This was a life-changing moment in Nasir’s life, an epiphany closely related to his beliefs as a Baha’i, a faith that believes in the unity of all humankind, abolition of all forms of prejudice, and the importance of service to the community—especially by drawing on our unique talents, skills, and passions. In practice, this could perhaps be as simple as spending time and sharing with others the power of absolute and unconditional love, having open hearts, and listening.
Nas began hitting the streets to offer free haircuts for the less fortunate and has since also visited different community organizations, shelters, and communities to offer haircuts as a path to building meaningful connections. The project has also become a place where people who believe in the fundamental goodness of human beings can come together to find stories, ideas, hope, community and inspiration in order to go out and serve in their own way.
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