Charbel Khoury

August 4, 2020, was just another normal day for Charbel. He recalls: “I left my house in Dahr Sarba, and headed to my workplace in mar Mikhael area. At first, we heard airplanes hovering above us, after which the explosion happened. At that exact moment, I was standing behind the counter inside the shop and the pressure from the blast pushed me towards the kitchen door that broke by the impact. Ten minutes later, I gained back my consciousness and found myself in the kitchen, not knowing how I got there. I did not care about my injury or the blood streaming down my arm, but I was concerned about my brother who worked with me in the same shop. I tried to find out what had happened, and completely dismissed the fact that I had lost all feeling in my hands. I went outside to find that my car, parked on the side of the road, was completely smashed.”

“At first, I thought the war had just started and I rushed in fear of a second attack. People were running randomly, and many injured people were waiting for someone to help them. For a moment, I thought it was a scene from the Iraq War, but it was indeed a painful reality, far from being a scene from a movie.”

Charbel remembers that it took him around three hours to reach a hospital in Jbeil area, while his hand was bleeding and the other one was swollen with blood. On his way to the hospital, he watched shards of glass flying in the air as buildings were completely destroyed. He realized that God was by his side, protecting him, on that day.

Charbel sustained hand injuries, underwent a wiring surgery for one of his fingers, as well as intensive physiotherapy sessions. Although his job at a liquor store requires heavy hand movements, he thanks God for everything. Moreover, the psychological pressure has also affected his health and he became dependent on medication.