Firas Taher

Fleeing the war in Syria, and in search of a better life, Firas arrived in Lebanon and lived in Gemmayze since 2008.

Firas wis born on October 9, 1981 in the town of Shahba in Syria, where he grew up in a small family of four. He received his primary education in his hometown before specializing in electronics and starting his professional career.

After seeking refuge in Lebanon, he worked as an assistant to the electrical engineer of a well-established communication company providing cable, internet, and maintenance services in Achrafieh. On August 4, 2020, he was heading home to Gemmayze at 6:00 PM, after a long working day, when he heard the sound of fireworks increasing over time. As he approached Byblos Bank, the explosion happened and he received a blow to the head that left him unconscious for a few minutes. Fortunately, a friend of his who happened to be in the neighbourhood evacuated him to Ain Wazein Hospital in Chouf, as Beirut hospitals were unable to admit additional people due to the damage inflicted on them as a result of the blast. It turned out that Firas suffered from severe injuries all over his body, including a fracture in the joint of his right hand, which was severely damaged, causing him partial disability (70%). He could no more completely open or close his hand.

After consulting with his doctor, he was told he could use a prosthetic that would help him open his hand, but Firas’ could not afford that due to his difficult financial condition, especially that the device requires close follow-up and monitoring, and must be replaced every two years.

Currently, Firas has become left-handed and can only use his right hand in a 30% capacity. He is unable to perform his tasks at work like he used to. He is unable to carry heavy equipment or do trivial small jobs requiring the use of his right hand. Nevertheless, he is grateful his employer kept him in the job despite his lower physical capacity.

All he asks for today is mercy, justice and equality in a country where he sought refuge as a worker, but became one of the victims of the August 4 explosion.