26-year old Kassem was born in a modest home, and he was the eldest of four children. He had a special place in the hearts of his parents, because he was a good son who treated them with utmost respect.
He always felt responsible towards his parents and looked up to them. Kassem would not do anything without consulting with them first. His relationship with his father was particularly close, and they were a lot like friends, rather than father and son.
Kassem dropped out of school because of his family's difficult living conditions. He worked in different professions, including auto repair… He was finally employed as a company truck driver at the Port of Beirut. He was a loyal employee, committed on the job; he worked from 2:00 PM until 6:00 AM without complaining, as long as his family was living in dignity.
Kassem loved his family, and wished well for everyone. He always wanted to make his father happy; he took a bank loan to buy him a car he could use as a cab. Kassem was optimistic, modest, and grateful…
One day before the explosion, his father came to see him after ten days he spent in the Bekaa. They spent the day together and Kassem did not take his eyes off his dad.
The next day, Youssef was working outside his house when he suddenly felt his heart tightening… His sister told him there was an explosion at the Port of Beirut… He tried calling Kassem but to no avail. He rushed to the port and in his head he could hear his son screaming for him...
At the port, all entries were closed, and Youssef was not allowed in. He looked for Kassem in hospitals but did not find him. Seven hours later, the family received a corpse that looked a lot like Kassem, and it was impossible to tell it wasn't him. But after the "ghusl" (ritual washing of dead bodies), it was obvious it was not Kassem due to a birthmark on the body's back. The corpse was returned to the hospital, and the hope that he could be alive was revived.
A family friend was able to enter the port and found Kassem, but he had already passed away. According to the medical report, he died of an extreme hemorrhage.
Kassem got married 29 days earlier; he was still in his honeymoon, but he was wedded twice in less than a month.