Ghassan Hasrouti

Ghassan was the eldest in a family of four brothers and three sisters. He was born in the village of Wadi El-Deir in Chouf. He married Ibtissam, against his in-laws' will –khatife, in Lebanese dialect-, and had three daughters and a son: Rana, Ramona, Tatiana and Elie.

On Monday August 3, 2020, Ghassan left the village where he built a lovely family house, and drove to Beirut with his wife. On the way back, he told Ibtissam: “I did everything I wanted to do but I did not buy a grave to bury me when am dead… I should have done this before, it’s too late.” They fought over this conversation, especially that lately, he’s been repeatedly mentioning he will be leaving this earth soon. He even asked her to keep helping the families he used to support, in case anything happens to him.

Ghassan did not only care for every detail concerning his family’s wellbeing, but also made sure to support and help needy people in his area. His motto in life was to keep fighting for a better life while it is still possible.

At 5:15 PM, on August 4, Ghassan called the house to speak with his wife. He had called her twice before but she didn’t answer, he told her: “you don’t want me to hear your voice today?”… They spoke for a while, and he asked her about herself and their children, Ramona in specific, since she was expecting her first born. Ghassan ended the call on a sweet note: “take care of yourself, and take care of the kids… I will not come home for lunch today… I changed my shift, so we can go to Deir El Moukhalles on Thursday for the celebration of the Transfiguration of Christ. I will sleep at the office, and I will see you tomorrow.”

Ghassan worked at the port’s grain silos for 38 years, and despite the war, he never left his post. He was planning to be around his children and grandchildren after his retirement…

From the window of his office, he saw the fire and the flames, but he didn’t know what was happening. He was busy preparing for the unloading of a grains shipment that had just arrived. He thought he was safe inside the silos.

After the explosion, all communication with Ghassan was lost… Two agonizing weeks have passed with no news. He was still missing, and his family was waiting, hoping for a miracle. On August 18, 2020, DNA results confirmed his passing.