Imad Zahreddine

Imad did not know that being late for work that afternoon would cost him his life… His mom speaks tirelessly of him and his qualities, the good son, the hero she will forever pride herself with.

For his family, Imad was the father, the brother, the backbone, and the loving, generous son, who is always ready to help others. He was also a religious young man, and a humanitarian at heart.

Out of responsibility towards his family, Imad joined the workforce at 14 years old, leaving school to become the family's breadwinner.

Imad's life was not an easy one. He was faced with life's obstacles and difficulties from a young age. He fought hard to survive and support his loved ones… He was finally employed at the Port of Beirut, after several interventions with powerful acquaintances, to make it happen.

After his employment, Imad started his own little family, while he was still providing for his mother and siblings.

Imad was a father of four, two girls and two boys, the eldest a teenager, and the youngest under five years old. He was thus responsible for more than ten people. He used to spend more time at work than he would at home, and his administrative job required him to stay after working hours.

On August 4, there was nothing urgent requiring Imad to stay overtime, but as he was late to arrive to work that morning, he decided to stay after hours to make up for late time. He didn't know it was fate, and he would be running to his death. When the first fire erupted, Imad rushed to help extinguish the flames and asked people to move away for their own safety. His brother Mahdi confirms Imad asked fishermen to clear away from the sea to avoid getting hurt.

Imad's photo was all over social media after the explosion. The man in the white t-shirt, opening the warehouse door along two other firefighters, lost his life, his body turned to pieces.

The news of the explosion broke the hearts of his family members. His mother, his wife, and his siblings stayed at the Port of Beirut hopelessly trying to find him.

They went between the explosion site and hospitals looking for the slightest piece of news. His mother kept going back to the port wailing and screaming his name: "Maybe if he hears my voice or feels my presence, he will know I am here for him…"

Six days later, Imad was found. Unfortunately, it was not a full corpse, Imad was very close to the explosion site and his body was extremely affected. A DNA test confirmed the identity of his remains…

 

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