Barbers in old Kuwait – ‘Jacks of all trades’

KUWAIT: In addition to haircutting, grooming and shaving, barbers in old Kuwait also performed cupping, dental extraction, treating burns and fractures, which made them indeed ‘Jacks of all trades’. Most barbers back then were simple tradesmen, who owned small storefronts or worked in the streets, moving between areas, houses and gathering places for low prices.

With the passage of time, each barber had his own place, where people also sought after treatment prescriptions with a herbomineral formulation for various diseases and pains and infections.

On some occasions, barbershops in Kuwait also served as places of social gatherings, debates, interactions and engaging citizens in discussions about contemporary issues. Most barbershops in old Kuwait used to spread in Al Tannakah (tinsmiths) souk, Al- Khababez (bakers) souk and some other public markets, and among the most famous Kuwaiti barbers at the beginning of the last century, where ‘Bilal’ and ‘Safar Ali’. — KUNA


This article was published on 28/04/2016