(Photo: AP/Maya Alleruzzo)
Cairo, Egypt can get really hot in the summer. That’s why people bring their horses, donkeys, mules, and other beasts of burden to Mohamed Mahmoud, a qassasseen—an animal barber. He learned the trade from his father, who learned it from his father. Mahmoud keeps the animals’ coats short to keep them cool and clean.
That’s the practical purpose. But Mahmoud is also an artist. He sometimes shaves the owners’ initials or geometric patterns into the animals’ hair. Each job takes about half an hour, for which Mahmoud charges the equivalent of $3-4 USD.
Mahmoud has a reputation for being gentle with his 4-legged clients. Although he has occasionally been injured by them, Mahmoud thinks that a kind touch is the right approach to handling them.