Latifa Hajj Steif
Latifa was born in Edleb in Syria, where she grew up and pursued her education despite the difficult conditions in her country. She was the ambitious, impulsive, and polite eldest daughter of Ahmad and Khaldiye Hajj Steif. Latifa was the backbone of her family, especially after her father left them to come to Beirut to improve their quality of life.
Growing up, 24-year old Latifa mostly witnessed wars, conflict, and destruction. She only wanted to feel safe in her country; to be around her loved ones as they used to be prior to 2010.
However, and due to the escalation of the armed conflict in Syria in 2014, Latifa, her mother, and three sisters fled the war and violence in her country and sought refuge in Lebanon, joining her father in his home in Karantina.
As soon as they arrived in Lebanon, Latifa started working in a sewing workshop near her home, to help support her family financially under the challenging circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the difficult economic situation in the country.
On August 4, 2020, Latifa returned home from work; little did she know about the horrible fate awaiting her and her family after 6:00 PM. The dramatic blast did not only destroy Ahmad Hajj Steif's home, but the loss of life was a heavy price for him to bear. On that evening he lost three of his family members. Latifa might have felt her mother and sister Joud passed away when she breathed her last to be with them on their eternal journey. The civil defense rescued her two other wounded sisters from their home wreckage and pulled her body from under the rubble. Latifa was the first victim of her family to be found, and she was immediately evacuated to Al-Makassed Hospital. According to the medical report, she died of extreme bleeding and physical wounds.
Three days later, she was buried in Daraya – Chouf, with her mother and sister.