CAIRO: Mahmoud Labib, “the barber of presidents,” received this title under former Egyptian presidents Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.
“Once, I shaved Sadat’s son in my shop, and afterward his father asked him for my name,” Labib told Arab News. “The presidency called me to be the barber of Sadat and then Mubarak.”
Over the decades, Labib has counted famous politicians, artists, writers, actors and businesspeople as customers.
“Anyone who sits in the chair of my barbershop is a client. Our duty is to do what they ask professionally. The same applies whether they’re a young boy or the president of Egypt, whom we’d visit to do the job,” he said.
“The first president whose hair I cut was Sadat. I traveled with him to Italy, America, France and Germany,” he added.
“Tel Aviv is the only trip on which I didn’t go with Sadat, and the last time I cut his hair was the day he was assassinated,” Labib said.
“I started my relationship with Mubarak when he was vice president, and his sons Alaa and Jamal came to me for a haircut,” he added.
“My relationship with everyone is good, and I visit Mubarak in hospital every two or three weeks to cut his hair,” he said. “My relationship with (renowned Egyptian singer) Abdel Halim Hafez continued until his death (in 1977),” Labib added.
“I love the customer more than the money,” he said, adding that he has not met current President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.