12-21-2016, 09:37 PM
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The Blind Barber of Urumqi

China: Every morning, a dusty square in the remote city of Urumqi is transformed into a roiling mass of livestock, merchants, and locals who come to buy cattle or sheep, get their horses shod, or see the latest farm machinery from Beijing. But the city’s outdoor animal market is also a social affair, and Ahmad Zul is its star attraction.

An elderly man in a cloth hat, Zul stands beneath a tattered awning, next to a blacksmith’s stall, plying his trade as the market’s resident barber. Though he’s blind—he cuts hair by feel—he is considered the best in the business.

A deft hand is only part of Zul’s appeal. He is also a gifted storyteller and a master of the withering put-down. Every day, crowds gather to watch as the barber lampoons his clients’ personal lives—from their drinking habits to their financial affairs to their philandering ways.
“Did your girlfriend give you that bump in a fight?” he asks one man. “Your hair is worse than that sheep!” he says to another. No one takes offense. In fact, people come to Zul expecting to be skewered. It’s part of the game.

Away from the crowd, Zul isn’t so brash. He considers himself an artist, he says, and likens himself to Michelangelo. “He was blind at the same age as me and still gave the world great works of art,” he says. “I give my people great haircuts.”
A moment later, he is back at his chair, his hands moving so rapidly it’s a wonder he doesn’t draw blood. But Zul is not given to making casual mistakes. As one onlooker puts it: “He will only cut you if you don’t laugh at his jokes.”


9 1,626
 12-22-2016, 03:53 AM
  • Johnny
  • Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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That was an interesting story.  I had the vision of a barber with some scissors or clippers giving haircuts, until I click on the attached link.  A blind man with a Kamisori would not be cutting my hair.  Heck, I can't use one of those and I can see just fine.

Thanks for the story.

[Image: hqk3Rr8.jpg]

189 26,351
 12-22-2016, 02:35 PM
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Cool story.  Thanks for posting it.

60 11,241
 02-11-2017, 10:30 PM
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0 479
 02-14-2017, 03:58 PM
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
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I have a blind friend who shaves with a straight razor. And yes, he maintains them as well.

11 659
 02-16-2017, 08:17 PM
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Most excellent! Thanks for sharing

36 2,246
 02-16-2017, 10:30 PM
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Good story, Lloyd.

I read the whole thing.

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