Hasan Doughman

This story is different. It was written in a hospital room, by the patient’s bed. The dynamic in this article is not a relationship between a journalist and a person who was injured in the August 4 Beirut explosion. Rather, it is a relationship between a father and his son, the journalist, who has been writing dozens of stories since 2020, including this one, which is different in form and content.

Hassan Ali Doughman is a 64-year-old man, and the head of a family of 6. He was born on April 4, 1959, and he was orphaned at an early age after his father’s passing in 1982. He was a mere young man, responsible for a large family. Hassan wandered the streets of Beirut looking for a job to make ends meet, and he finally became a male barber.

On July 6, 1977, at the onset of the Lebanese civil war, Hassan was injured in the shelling, resulting in a permanent disability in his right hand. However, he never stopped fighting to survive until this day.

He lived a good life alongside his family and his supportive wife who always stood by him to overcome life’s challenges. Their story is a normal one, the story of a family that always stood together for good or for worse. But after the horrific crime on August 4, 2020, everything changed, and the story suddenly became more complicated.

From his hospital bed, Hassan describes the devastating memories related to the explosion. On August 4, he was in Mar Mikhael area but he was not injured. He rushed with his taxi to assist the blast’s victims and evacuate them to the nearest hospitals that were still standing.

Yet, the blast’s aftermath physically and emotionally affected Hassan and his family. In late 2022, Hassan began experiencing unexplained lung pain; medical tests revealed that the inhalation of ammonium nitrate, and the emissions accompanying the explosion, had affected his health. The family was shocked by the news, as they learned that his test results confirmed that cancer has spread in his lungs.

Hassan is still confined to his hospital bed, and he only thinks that he is suffering from minor infections. He calls on the government to uncover the truth of what happened and turned his life upside down as he transformed from an active and vibrant man to become a weak frail man struggling to breathe.