Ibrahim Berjawi

“Leave everything behind and let’s leave the house, an earthquake is hitting Beirut.” With these words, Ibrahim recalls the horrific moments he lived with his brother Mohamed on August 4, 2020.
A young man in his twenties, Ibrahim was born in Noueiri neighborhood of Beirut on January 1, 1997, the youngest of a family of three children. Although his childhood was quite challenging, he was a happy child who grew into an adventurous teenager.

He went to school in Beirut until grade 9, and enrolled in the GIA AGI vocational school to specialize in jewelry making, starting a 12-year small business and achieving financial and professional success. His success pushed him to expand his knowledge and expertise to enhance his career which requires exquisite skills and professionalism. However, the August 4 explosion put an end to his dreams, and he was compelled to a job he never planned for.

Ibrahim recalls the events of August 4 with tremendous pain. It was just another day, he left for work in the morning and came back home in the afternoon. At 6:07 PM the earth shook before the explosion, and everyone thought an earthquake hit the city, but when the first explosion was heard and a cloud of yellow dust filled the place, Ibrahim thought a gas cylinder had exploded. But it was not the case, it was a disaster, and the whole city blew up. The house was unrecognizable, glass shattered, and his dad and brother Mohamed were severely injured. Ibrahim stood there in utter disbelief.

A few days later, Ibrahim suffered from an increased heart rate requiring a doctor’s visit, followed by medical tests concluding that due to the shock he sustained on August 4, he developed tachycardia. Additionally, he also sustained partial vision loss, which was diagnosed by the ophthalmologist as a result to diabetes caused by the polluted dust he inhaled on that day. Due to his drastic economic conditions and the extensive destruction in his house, Ibrahim could not get any long-term medical treatment.

Ibrahim closed the chapter of jewelry making and recently started a new job at an import-export company, following a short recovery period after the explosion.