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Local barbershops unite for mosque shooting victim

Mitch Redman
My Fathers Barber
Matt Brown, owner of My Fathers Barber in Riccarton, came up with the idea of 'The Barber Collective'  Mitch Redman

In an act of camaraderie, local barbers came together for one kaupapa - raising funds for the mosque families, and one victim in particular, who has tight links with the community.

On Monday, some of Christchurch's most popular barbershops came together to raise funds for victims of the mosque shooting.

Appointments were cancelled in favour of letting anybody in need of a haircut walk through the door, all in the name of charity.

'The Barber's Collective', was a vision created by My Fathers Barber owner, Mataio Brown. Eight shops around Christchurch cut hair for the discounted price of $25, with further koha encouraged.

My Fathers Barber, Motown Barbers, ManUp, Benny's Barber Shop, Ambitions Room, Barber Lounge, New City Barbers and Dog Box Barbershop all took part in the one-day event.

Wasseim Alsati and his four-year-old daughter Alin, prior to the mosque shootings. Wasseim Alsati

Wasseim Alsati, a well-loved and respected member of the Christchurch barbering community was injured in the mosque attacks. He was shot at multiple times, suffering a perforated bowel, pelvis injury and shrapnel and bone wounds to his hip socket.

After moving to New Zealand from Jordan with his wife and family of four in 2014, Alsati was set to open his own barbershop 'Wass's Barbers' in the week following the event.

Alsati is set to spend a significant period of time confined to a hospital bed, unable to work, whilst caring for his four-year-old daughter Alin, who was also injured in the shooting. She remains unconscious, awaiting more surgery at Starship Hospital in Auckland. Mataio Brown stated on Monday, that money raised at My Fathers' Barber on Monday would go directly to Wasseim and his family. 

Hair art depicting the Al Noor Mosque by Mataio Brown. My Fathers Barber

Mataio Brown thanked the other barbershops for "opening their doors and jumping on the kaupapa 'The Barber Collective' for our Muslim community".

Alsati commented on a My Fathers Barber Facebook post on Monday evening thanking everybody for their gesture and expressing that there was "nothing else" he could say.

My Fathers Barber gained global attention in the week following the event, for springing into action and becoming a drop-off point for donated goods by people in the community, after a social-worker friend said that "there weren't enough supplies". They received thousands of donations including petrol vouchers, food, supermarket vouchers, bedding amongst other things to help the Muslim community in Christchurch. 

The final value of money raised by 'The Barber Collective' is still being calculated, however it will be announced in the coming days.