Stories of Normal Life in Tragic Times


Most men don’t think twice when shaving. It’s part of their daily routine: wash the face, lather the soap and go. But in some places, these simple acts are the only remnants of normal life.

Like at the Zaatari refugee camp, where over 120,000 refugees who've fled the Syrian civil war are now living. Local barbers have set up makeshift shops with mirrors and a chair. There, they wield their clippers and razors, while every day dozens of customers share their life stories as they get a trim or a shave. This is the setting for Walk-Ins Welcome: Stories of Syrian Refugee Barbers, filmmaker Faisal Attrache's documentary film and humanitarian project.

The conversations Attrache filmed illustrate the lives of people displaced by the crisis, but they also reflect on the Syrian conflict as a whole. Attrache says his aim was to restore a human face to the conflict, something that was lost while the fighting dragged on for the past two years.

(Photo: The main street in Zaatari refugee camp. Credit: