When Ahmad Akkashe’s friends and neighbours first heard about how his barbershop had been vandalized with the words “Kill Muslims” and “Kill Lebs,” they were angrier than he was.
“I was the one telling them to calm down, take it easy, this is just one individual,” he said. “I knew this doesn’t represent what Edmonton or Canada is about.”
And while he tried to not be too personally affected by the incident, he did find himself thinking about the incident as the days went by.
It’s why he’s holding a charitable hate awareness event this Sunday, offering haircuts for donations, with proceeds going toward the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. He points to his Islamic faith for how he dealt with the incident, saying it teaches him to be patient, generous and compassionate.
He’ll be joined by Edmonton-McClung MLA Lorne Dach and Edmonton-Meadowlark MLA Jon Carson, who helped organize the event.
“I’d heard about it and was pretty shocked and saddened by it, and I thought I’d have my hair cut by Ahmad,” Dach said. “And in having a conversation with him, I certainly saw firsthand how affected he and his family were by this.”