Joelle Raymond Mourad

Joelle suffers from a congenital brain defect; she was born in Gemmayze in Beirut and attended school in the same area. When she was younger, she worked as a teacher for a while, before she received a disability card from the Ministry of Social Affairs because of her medical condition that did not allow her to marry and start a family.

On August 4, 2020, she was sitting in a coffee shop close to her home in Gemmayze where she lives with her mother Charlotte, and her younger sister Veronique. When the explosion happened at the port of Beirut, a concrete wall fell over her shoulder and arm, and while she was trying to flee the scene in fear, she tripped on the rubble and broke her leg. Her sister Veronique ran to check on her and evacuated her with the help of some people to Hotel Dieu Hospital. At the hospital, they treated her hand, and she underwent hardware implant surgery for her leg. Afterward, Joelle went for ten physical therapy sessions for her hand, and she still needs additional sessions. She also needs to remove the hardware from her leg, but she can’t do so because she has no financial support or income.

Veronique talks about the fact that her sister was negatively impacted by the explosion, which affected her mental and physical states. Her diabetes worsened, and she was easily irritated. Joelle finds her life unbearable, and she screams a lot. Moreover, their family house was also damaged by the explosion, and it is not fit for the family to live in; it was invaded by insects and caused Joelle to have scabies, for which she saw a doctor, but she still suffers from the condition. Veronique is trying to get her sister a monthly salary from a UN agency or an NGO, but she couldn’t succeed yet.

Veronique also described her sister’s overall condition and she said she could move, walk, and talk, but she gets tired really fast, especially when she walks the stairs up to their home on the fifth floor. She also has eye problems and needs glaucoma surgery and multiple vision-related interventions for problems caused by her diabetes. She can’t hear well and suffers from breathing issues. All of this combined caused the family’s debts to go above and beyond 60 million LBP for treatment, medication, tests, and doctor’s consultations.

Two years after the explosion, Joelle hopes to find someone to support her or to offer her a monthly salary that would enable her to live in dignity, in a healthy and clean home, instead of their family home that is unfit, even if rehabilitated, as going up and down the stairs is a daily struggle for her.