Bilal was a career-driven, successful fashion designer. He never felt the pressure of his day-to-day life, because he knew he had to work tirelessly to make his dreams come true, and only then he would be at peace.
Bilal was born on January 11, 1974, and grew up in Beirut where he met his better half, Zeina. They got married and gave birth to three beautiful children: Omar, Shatha, and Rola. Despite the economic crisis that hit them like it did every other Lebanese, they lived a peaceful life. Zeina sighs and says: “Everything changed on August 4, our lives turned upside down.”
It was a normal day for the couple in their atelier, but the fire erupting at the port of Beirut ahead of 6:07 PM, anticipated a massacre. After that moment, life was not the same for Bilal: rubble, shattered glass, and an aluminum board that covered his body as a result of the blast. The last thing Zeina remembers is her husband disappearing. As soon as she regained some of her strength, she rushed to him as he lay on the ground, barely conscious.
The journey to the hospital was not an easy one. As soon as Bilal learned his daughter was also injured, he ran towards the house, bleeding, to save her. He climbed the stairs to the 14th floor, as the elevator was out of order due to the power outage.
They arrived at Clemenceau Medical Center which was damaged by the blast. He received first aid and finally arrived at Hammoud Hospital in Saida at 10:00 PM. He was immediately operated on, and his daughter received the needed medical treatment. During it all, Bilal was worried about Zeina and kept asking about her.
Bilal suffered from torn tendons on his foot and hand, and he still needs physical therapy to carry on with his life. He stayed at the hospital for two months, after which he had to rely on crutches for his movement. For a period after the explosion he kept pulling glass from his body, and after a series of medical surgeries, he has finally recovered at his own expense.
While his wife describes what happened as a “massacre”, Bilal is seriously considering immigration. He only wants the truth and for justice to prevail.