Eighty-six-year-old Palestinian barber Ismail Al-Khatib refuses to retire. He continues to open up his barber shop in Firas Market, one of the oldest and most popular markets in Gaza City every morning.
Al-Khatib and his son work until sunset every day in a profession that the octogenarian began practicing nearly 73 years ago, and which he learned from his father after the Nakba in 1948. He has owned his own shop in the market since 1955, when it was first established, and two years ago his work was recognized by the Palestinian Barbers’ Syndicate.
He recalls when he first started in the business, after the Nakba, Palestinians bartered the price of cutting their hair and trimming their beards for bread, eggs, or simple sums of money that did not exceed a few Egyptian pounds.