Abdel Halim Salem

Abdel Halim was born in Deir Ez Zor in Syria, on January 1, 1991, to a small, modest family. He lived with his brother Ahmad, his two sisters, Iman and Karama, and his mother Boushriya Al-Safira.

After his graduation, Abdel Halim enrolled in a university in Ladkiyeh to major in Psychology – Philosophy. However, due to the worsening security situation in Syria, and the capture of Al-Raqqa by the Islamic State (ISIS), he had to seek refuge in Lebanon in early 2013, where he settled, with few of his friends, in Achrafieh – Beirut.

As soon as he arrived to Lebanon, Abdel Halim enrolled in the Lebanese University to earn the degree he always wanted. Unfortunaterly, between work and education, he had to dedicate most of his time to a job that would put food on the table for his family in Syria. Abdel Halim was the breadwinner for his family after his father died in 1999, and his mother lost her sight in 2010.

29-year old Abdel Halim was a tall, handsome, and healthy young man. He was known for his ethics and good reputation. He was a religious family man. "Abboud", as he was nicknamed by his coworkers, was a dedicated employee, passionate about his job. He endured his life as a refugee for seven years, and fought as hard as he could to help his family. However, he ended up in the wrong place.

On the 4th of August, like every other day, Abboud called his family in the morning before his shift at "Sandwich w Noss" – Gemmayze Branch. He worked all day, until an explosion rocked warehouse number 12 at the nearby Port of Beirut, causing what looked like an earthquake in Beirut and its suburbs. Gemmayze was one of the areas most affected by the blast. Abdel Halim was injured, one of the restaurant walls fell on his body.

Abboud's coworkers took him to Geitawi Hospital but he was already dying. The coroner's report noted the cause of death, he died of extreme physical injuries.

His family tried to contact Lebanese and Syrian authorities to transfer the corpse to his hometown where he would be buried in the family's cemetery, but their attempts were rejected. A family relative buried Abboud in Al-Qaa cemetery, in the Bekaa. He was destined to be buried and covered by the soil of Lebanon, although Lebanese authorities agreed afterwards to open the borders between the two countries, to evacuate the wounded and the dead.

 

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