Good news Thursday: Family reunites after three years, celebrity hairstylist helps seniors

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

Abdul Salam Al Khawien and his five children were at home while his wife and mother Kariman were shopping when a deadly airstrike hit their home in Syria in 2017. Abdul and the children were separated from Kariman, all thinking two the other part was dead. Kariman lost consciousness in the raids and spent three weeks recovering in a clinic while Abdul and the children fled to Turkey and then to Greece. Separated by the countries and without any means of contacting each other, they gave up the hope of reuniting with family.

But when Kariman’s brother found a photo of his eldest son in Greece on Facebook, she was able to get in touch with her husband and consider reuniting with his family. Kariman had to brave the smuggling of a boat to obtain asylum in Turkey and travel overnight to Greece where a couple opened their doors to her to find refuge. She was able to contact the establishment where her family lived and finally see them again after three years.

The Japanese-inspired water garden in the house of Claude Monet, a French impressionist painter who lived from 1883 to 1926, awaits the reopening. (AP Photo / François Mori)

After six months, the bright bulbs, lush leaves and full foliage of Monet’s Gardens will reopen to the public. The gardens, once a source of inspiration for famous Impressionist painter Claude Monet at his home in Giverny, France, will now resume, allowing guests to stroll through the park. This reopening includes French cafes, restaurants, cinemas and museums that 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 customers browsed the famous flora. But even though the gardens were closed for half the year, its gardeners were busy trying to maintain the image of the picturesque gardens. For gardeners, Monet’s Gardens are best enjoyed when people can come and enjoy it.

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

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

A celebrity hairstylist cuts and styles older New Yorkers’ hair for free to connect with those who have felt isolated during the pandemic. Roberto Novo has styled stars like Britney Spears and Naomi Campbell. But he started his “Free Haircut and Puppy Love” initiative with his two French Bulldogs during the pandemic to help the elderly feel lonely. Novo goes to their apartment or residence and cuts and styles their hair while discussing their life. His dogs follow for more fun and love for his older clients.

Not only do haircuts and styles help people feel better about their looks, knowing that someone is there and wants to talk about their life in a heartwarming way. For Novo, he thinks it’s a little thing he can do to help. “It doesn’t get better than this – bring joy to the elderly in these trying times,” Novo told The Associated Press. “People are really suffering from this situation right now. So if God blessed me (to help me) with a simple haircut, making someone happy, that’s a gift.

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