Sunday, April 05, 2009

Obama's Hair Design

We hear there are protests in New York City over fried chicken joints being renamed for Barack Obama. We were in Chicago last month and walked by this place downtown on South Dearborn. Obama's Hair Design features "styles by Egyptian."

We'd assumed the joint was black-owned, but a quick check shows that it's not, and believe it or not, used to be called "Osama's":

Al Aribaya News Channel
Egyptian gives Chicago salon Obama makeover

Osama just got an extreme makeover and will now be known as Obama. The salon that is.

An Egyptian barber changed the name of his salon from "Osama’s Hair Design" to "Obama’s Hair Design" in what American media called an ideological shift but which perhaps simply reflected good business sense.

Mahmoud al-Sheikh managed to get a license to change the name of his salon on Nov. 3, one day before Obama's victory, because he figured city officials would not have agreed to put the president's name on a barber shop, he told AlArabiya.net.

In repose to the media hype about his supposed “ideological shift” from fundamentalism to moderation, Sheikh said that the previous name of the salon had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden and that he was never one of his supporters.

"The previous owner of the salon was called Osama," he said. "American media took advantage of that to create a sensational story."

And he saw business drop off by half in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks...

Sheikh pointed out that the main question posed by the American media was whether he changed the name of the salon to attract more African-American clients.

"I told them I am 100 percent convinced of this man. I met him and talked to him. His success was not haphazard. He had goals that he was keen on achieving."

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