Lena Najjar Khazen

Lena was born in Gemmayze, she grew up in a beautiful traditional house in the same district. On a Sunday morning, Michel Khazen saw her with her cousin at church and it was love at first sight. The two married when Lena turned twenty, and graduated from "Collège Sainte Famille".

The couple had a son and two daughters, and lived in Gemmayze until 1981, when the family traveled and settled in Greece, then moved, for professional reasons, between Belgium, Turkey, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Yet, and despite the many years she spent abroad, Lena always visited Lebanon with her family. Moreover, she made sure her children spoke the Arabic language, and being a great cook, she always cooked Lebanese food.

Lena was an elegant, beautiful, sweet person who was always smiling. She cared for her family's tiniest detail; a devoted mother, and a true friend.

When her husband retired in 2000, Lena asked him to come back to Lebanon, and although her children lived abroad, she always wished they could all be under one roof for the holidays. She missed them, and her seven grandchildren so much.

On the ill-fateful August 4, 2020, Lena went with Michel to the supermarket to shop ahead of the coronavirus lockdown. At 6:00 PM, she was home, lying in her bed -directly facing the Port of Beirut grain silos, and scrolling through her iPad. Her 82-year old husband was in the same room working on his computer. When they heard airplanes flying over, Lena told her husband that they should hide. But, as soon as she got off her bed and started walking towards the other room, the explosion shattered her house and pushed her forward. She hit her head to the door and fell to the ground, and got trapped under another wall. Her husband was also pushed outside the room, and when he could get to her, he found out she was wounded. She bled for an hour, and Michel could not get help. She was agonizing and saying, "I am leaving, I am dying", and she passed away.

At 11:00 PM, a civil defense team evacuated Lena to Rafic Hariri University Hospital, where her corpse remained in the hallway because the morgue was already full. 75-year old Lena was buried the next day, ending a beautiful generous life taken on a sudden note, by a horrific explosion, a month short of her 55th wedding anniversary, on September 11.