Isabelle Machaalani

Isabelle never got married. She lived with her single sister Renee, in an old house they inherited from their father, in the neighbourhood of the Port of Beirut. She is from a generation of good, kind women, who glow more and more each passing day.

Isabelle was a synonym for magic and stories for little children. In her house she raised generations of her family's little kids. She was a second mom to all the children she took care of, and loved unconditionally.

At Isabelle's house, they'd feel free. They would laugh, play, and enjoy their time as they please. For them, she was grandma, they made her happy, and much less lonely.

The kids' parents thought it'd be just a phase and that they'd grow out of it, but the little ones had a different opinion. They dreaded the moment they needed to go back home. They'd hide behind the couch or they'd ran to the balcony, what mattered most is that they stay with grandma Isabelle. They loved her cooking and enjoyed the toys she would buy them.

But children were not the only ones to enjoy Isabelle's company. Her neighbours loved coming over. A neighbour describes it saying "when you come into Isabelle's beautiful home, you feel like you entered a garden of beauty and serenity."

The most special thing about Isabelle is that she always put on her most beautiful outfits, just like a young girl. She'd go out in the neighborhood to buy her own groceries. Despite her 96 years of life, she insisted to go around unassisted.

A few days before the explosion, a relative of Isabelle paid her a visit, and it was the first time he sees her crying, as if she felt disaster was coming. And so it was, death had chosen her. She and her sister Renee were wounded by the Beirut blast. She fought for her life until her last moments. Just before she arrived to Bhannes Hospital, she closed her eyes forever.

Isabelle was buried in her home town, after she lost her life in the most tragic way.