Elias Khouzami

Elias’ honeymoon was not supposed to end in disaster. Thirty days after his wedding day, Elias died, and left behind a heartbroken bride he waited so long to marry.

His friends describe him as the “dynamo”, he was energetic and full of life. He was fun to be around, and easy to love.

32-year old Elias was born in Achrafieh, but spent most of his life in Amchit where he lived with his family. Elias experienced life’s hardships early on when he started working to support his family at thirteen. However, after long hours of work, Elias did not go home and rest, instead, he attended afternoon school to pursue his education.

Elias was a great swimmer; Jbeil’s sandy beaches stand witness to his courage and bravery as a lifeguard. If these beaches could speak, they would tell the story of Elias who saw a girl drowning and screaming for help, and while he was running to save her, he was hit by a stray bullet. Yet, this did not stop him from completing his duty; he swam towards her, despite his injury, and saved her life.

In 2008, Elias joined the fire brigade out of a passion for helping others.

On August 4, 2020, Elias was not on duty, he was still on his honeymoon leave. His superior called him and asked him to join the team for a meeting with Beirut Governor, and he could go back home afterwards.

That moment, was the call of death…

After the meeting, Elias stayed at the station. He called a coworker and suggested he substitutes for him and the latter could work in lieu of him on the 14th of August, for the Feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. His coworker agreed.

When the firefighters were to respond to the fire call at the Port of Beirut, Elias ran to the truck. His friends suggested he stays at the station since he was a newlywed, but he refused. He called his wife Nancy before getting on board, and informed her they were needed at the port.

“Backup is needed”, those were Elias’s last words… His friends at the station immediately moved to help. As soon as they were set to leave the station, a huge explosion was heard. They looked behind and saw their station completely destroyed.

Five days later, Elias’ dead body was found under the ruins.

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