Geopolitics

Life And Death Inside An Underground Syrian Hospital

The dark, damp emergency room in the field hospital of besieged Homs
The dark, damp emergency room in the field hospital of besieged Homs
Yazan al-Homsy
Yazan al-Homsy

HOMS – This city in western Syria is nearing 500 days under siege, with no supply route in or out. Medical equipment and supplies are nearly impossible to find. There are no alternatives for the medicine, be it for chronic illness or for wounds sustained during daily shellings of the city. There are few medical personnel on the scene.

In Old Homs, a critical wound becomes more terrifying than death itself. A doctor might need to amputate a limb to save a patient’s life. In more critical cases, the lack of medical facilities means the only option for patients is death.

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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