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May 27, 2016

Refugee runs successful business in Budapest

Ibrahim's story just goes to show that Hungary can be accepting of other cultures

A Syrian refugee has set up a barber shop in downtown Budapest popular with foreigners and Hungarians alike, Reuters has reported today.

Ibrahim Haji Mohammad fled to Hungary from the Kurdish region of Syria eight years ago. With the help of human traffickers he flew to Ukraine before walking through the border into Hungary. He applied for asylum but did not intend to stay long, but rather move close to brothers in Denmark and Sweden.

His plans changed quickly after he fell in love with a Hungarian woman whom he has married, and now they have a five-year-old son and his barber shop is well known in the Hungarian capital.

"Thank God, I have all the papers now, and (shortly) I would like to apply for Hungarian citizenship," Ibrahim told Reuters.

His clientele has grown especially fast in the past year.

A Hungarian who identifies himself as a rap singer called Mr. Busta said that since last summer he had been coming twice a week from the countryside to have his beard cut by Ibrahim.

"I had some reservations... as with this migrant story many people have had prejudices and also towards Ibrahim, but...over the past year we have slowly become almost friends," he said.

It just goes to show that no matter who you are or where you're from racial barriers shouldn't get in the way of good friendships or successful businesses.