Mariam Al Rawee
Mariam, a young Syrian housewife and mother of three, was born in Al-Rakka in Syria on July 14, 1989. She played in the streets and neighborhoods of her hometown, grew up into a young woman, and got married. In 2012, as the Syrian crisis escalated and the Islamic State occupied her city, Mariam was forced to flee with her family to Lebanon.
In Beirut, Mariam and her husband provided safety and comfort for their three daughters. She was, as she put it, the queen of her home located in Hamra Street, and she would perform her house chores to the fullest without a complaint.
On August 4, Mariam woke up restless and uncomfortable as if she knew her life was about to change, but despite that unshakable feeling, she went about her day. At 6:00 PM she heard from her neighbors that a fire had erupted at the port of Beirut, however, she did not give it much importance and went on to do the laundry.
At 6:07 PM Beirut time, she felt a strong earthquake, and a few seconds later, she heard the sound of an explosion that threw her off the ground, and she bumped into the iron door and fell down, feeling the bones in her left hand fracture. She immediately lost consciousness.
After being administered first aid treatment in an attempt to save her, her husband took her to the hospital, but they were both shocked by the horrific scene in the streets around the port of Beirut. The glass facades of shops and buildings had completely collapsed, and it was enough to remind Mariam of her hometown, as if the war had arrived in the second city she loved, Beirut.
She arrived at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital and was shocked by the horror of what she saw, a huge number of wounded people, blood everywhere, and the sound of people crying was heard around the hospital.
A series of X-rays showed that Mariam was suffering from a severe fracture in her hand, which required a surgical intervention to repair the damage through the insertion of metal rods, and 45 physical therapy sessions to support her hand muscles. However, due to the overwhelming number of injured people, some in a more critical situation than she was, she was transferred to a hospital in the Bekaa and remained there for ten days before she could be operated on, due to the severe swelling in her hand.
Mariam did not follow through with her prescribed physical therapy sessions due to her difficult economic condition. She now relies on painkillers that have become too expensive for her to afford, and she is unable to use her hand to perform daily tasks. Mariam is calling upon the Lebanese government to share the truth of what happened, and she wants to know who ruined the safety net she and her husband worked so hard to provide for their children when they fled the war in Syria.