- Title: Cancer fighter ensures Iraqi protesters stay fresh with free haircuts
- Date: 1st January 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PORTRAITS OF IRAQI BARBERS AT MAKESHIFT BARBER SHOP
- Embargoed: 15th January 2020 11:54
- Keywords: Baghdad Cancer patients in Iraq Health care in Iraq Iraq Iraq protests Tahrir Square Unrest in Iraq
- Location: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002BUCC7DH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Leukemia has not stopped 17-year-old barber Mohammed Firas, known as Hamad, from participating in nationwide anti-government protests that have swept Iraq since October 1.
The barber has set up a tent and moved his equipment to Tahrir Square where he is helping protesters stay fresh by giving them free haircuts and beard trims.
Like most protesters, Hamad lives in poverty. In addition, he struggles to afford medication for his illness that he has been fighting for four years.
Criticising an ailing health care system in Iraq, he is adamant to fight both cancer and what he described as "corrupt politicians" in his country.
Protesters, most of them young, are demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as profoundly corrupt and keeping many Iraqis in poverty without health insurance or public services such as water and electricity.
A 20-year-old protester waiting for his turn at Hamad's tent described the young barber as a "hero" and said his unique participation gives him and other protesters a push to keep fighting.
More than 450 people, mostly unarmed demonstrators but also some members of the security forces, have been killed since a wave of popular unrest began on October 1.
(Production: Maher Nazeh, Mohammed Katfan)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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