Good News Thursday: Family reunites after three years, celebrity hair stylist helps the elderly


Syrian family reunites after three years

Abdul Salam Al Khawien and his wife Kariman pose with their children for a family photo, at their apartment in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece. The family of seven has been reunited, against the odds, three years later at a refugee shelter in Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Abdul Salam Al Khawien and his five kids were at home while his wife and their mother Kariman was out grocery shopping when a deadly air strike hit their home in Syria back in 2017. Abdul and the kids were separated from Kariman, both thinking the other party was dead. Kariman was knocked unconscious in the raids and spent three weeks recovering in a clinic while Abdul and the kids fled to Turkey and then Greece. Separated by countries and with no way to get in touch with each other, they gave up hope of being together as a family again.

But when Kariman’s brother found a picture of her eldest son in Greece on Facebook, she was able to get in contact with her husband and plan to reunite with her family. Kariman had to brave being smuggled on a boat to receive asylum to Turkey and travel through the night into Greece where a couple opened their doors for her to find refuge. She was able to contact the facility her family lived at and finally see them again after three years.

Monet Gardens reopens

The Japanese-inspired water garden of Claude Monet’s house, French impressionist painter who lived from 1883 to 1926, waits ahead of the re-opening. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

After six months the bright bulbs, lush leaves and full foliage of the Monet Gardens will reopen to the public. The gardens, once an inspiration to famous impressionist painter Claude Monet at his home in Giverny, France, will be now resume allowing patrons to stroll the grounds. This reopening includes French cafés, restaurants, movie theaters and museums that have closed during the pandemic.

For now only 200 visitors will be allowed to visit per hour. During its seven-month season in 2019, 717,000 patrons walked through the famous flora. But even though the grounds have been closed for half the year, its gardeners have been busy trying to upkeep the image of the picturesque gardens. To the gardeners, Monet’s gardens are best appreciated when people can come and appreciate it.

“It’s frustrating because the garden has its meaning when we are sharing it,” Claire-Hélène Marron, one of 11 permanent gardeners told the Associated Press. “We put a lot of effort into making it spectacular and trying to recreate the impressionist paintings.”

Celebrity hairstylist gives free haircuts to lonely elderly

Elizabeth Deterville looks at her new hairstyle courtesy of stylist Roberto Novo in an apartment in New York. Novo started offering older clients free haircuts during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Emily Leshner)

A celebrity hairstylist cuts and styles older New Yorkers’ hair for free as a way to connect with those who have felt isolated during the pandemic. Roberto Novo has styled hair for stars like Britney Spears and Naomi Campbell. But he began his initiative “Free Haircut and Puppy Love” with his two French bulldogs during the pandemic to help older people feeling lonely. Novo goes to their apartment or residential facilities and cuts and styles their hair while discussing their lives. His dogs follow along for extra fun and love for his older clients.

Not only do the haircuts and styles help the people feel better about their appearance, knowing that someone is there and wants to talk about their lives in comforting. For Novo, he feels this is a small thing he can do to help. “It doesn’t get any better than that — bring some joy to senior citizens in these hard times,” Novo told the Associated Press. “People really suffer with this situation right now. So if God blessed me (to help) with a simple haircut, making somebody happy, that’s a gift.”

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