Azzam Yehya Hamawi

55-year old Azzam witnessed many wars and catastrophes throughout his life. He worked at the Port of Beirut for many years, and was there during the July 2006 war on Lebanon. At the time, he never left his post for 33 days. His only contact with the outside world was the box of food he would receive through security officers. He also suffered from separation anxiety, and feared losing his family who stayed in Syria during the Syrian Civil War.

But it seemed as if Azzam, the poorest of the poor as his friends would call him, still did not get his share of pain and hardship. He was greatly affected by the economic crisis in Lebanon when the company he works for decreased his salary to 600,000 LBP, with undetermined working hours. The father of eight had no choice but to give in, and accept the injustice.

35 years ago, Azzam packed his stuff and moved from Homos – Syria to Lebanon, to work at the mechanical maintenance department at the Port of Beirut. On August 4, 2020, he died in one of the port's warehouses.

Before the explosion, his friend invited him for dinner, But Azzam declined the invitation and laid down to rest for a while. When everything around him blew up, he became unconscious, and he was taken to the hospital. On the fourth day after the explosion, Azzam's dead body was transferred to Syria where he was buried in his hometown.

Azzam passed away leaving behind 8 children, the youngest "Amar" (4) only knows that her father is a shining star in the sky of Beirut. This is what her eldest brother Mohamed is trying to tell her since the explosion on August 4. Azzam was a devoted father and a loving husband.

All he ever wanted was to secure a better future for his children. His son Mohamed describes him as the pillar of their family, their backbone. After his passing, the grief stricken family cannot even afford to buy their own bread, they have no income to support their needs.

Azzam died, along many other foreign workers; will any one support their families, or even remember them?

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