From refugee status to business owner

·2 min read

A Strathmore resident who came to Canada as a refugee from Syria has opened a new barbershop in the downtown core.

Sam Al-Mubaied, together with business partner Ahmad Asheti, have opened the Strathmore Barbershop, located in the Strathmore Centre. A grand opening celebration was held on March 1, attended by Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule and Councillors Bob Sobol and Denise Peterson, along with other members of the community.

The opening culminates Al-Mubaied’s relocation to Canada with his wife and family from Damascus, Syria in 2016 because of the Syrian civil war.

“We weren’t safe there, especially the kids, so we had to leave,” he said.

The Hope Community Covenant Church, along with five sponsors, helped Al-Mubaied and his family settle in Strathmore.

Since then, Al-Mubaied and his family have adjusted to life here.

“I love Strathmore – I feel like it’s my own town and my own community,” he said. “We’re so happy to be safe here.”

The business has been ready to open for a few months, but was delayed by COVID-19 public health measures. So, Al-Mubaied took a “wait and see” approach to opening while many businesses were closed. But with personal and wellness businesses services open again (by appointment), Al-Mubaied decided the time was right to launch the new business venture.

Like other barbers and hairdressers in town, Al-Mubaied will be working within the confines of COVID-19 protocols.

“We’re working under the government’s rules,” he said.

Al-Mubaied has been cutting hair for over 10 years and does not think his approach to the craft will be much different than in Syria.

“Hair is hair, but every year, there are new styles,” he said. “I’m so excited to start serving the people of Strathmore.”

At the reopening, Fule said that having businesses downtown, such as the Strathmore Barbershop, being successful is important to Strathmore’s downtown revitalization.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times