Minerva Chartouni

Minerva Chartouni

Everybody remembers her laughs, her jokes, even her anger. They cry mourning her loss.

Minerva used to work at Middle East Airlines (MEA) before her retirement, and she was best known for her courage during the Lebanese war, when she moved fearlessly from one area to another.

Loved by her family and neighbors, Minerva was always smiling and helpful. She avoided upsetting comments and situations, and stayed away from arguments. She was always peaceful.

Minerva was a mother and a father to her two children Joseph and Sandra especially that her husband, who lived abroad, became ill and returned to Lebanon. She worked multiple jobs to provide for her family.

On August 4, Minerva went to visit her aunt for a while, and came back home around 1:30 PM to feed her dog "Pinky". She talked to her daughter multiple times afterwards, and sent her a voice note around 5:45 PM to tell her about a huge fire at the Port of Beirut, followed by the sound of fireworks going off. Minerva also called her son who asked her to stay away from the balcony, fearing for her life. Minerva entered her room seconds before the explosion that blew her into the corridor, and left her trapped under the room's door, which fell on her body.

Sandra did not listen to her mother's voice note at the time, but she heard the blast while she was in the village of Chartoun. She rushed to Beirut to check on her mom who called her, before losing consciousness, crying for help: "Help me! The house must've exploded"…

Joseph, who believes his mother's phone call saved his life –she had asked him not to come over as the fire seemed huge, took her to Notre Dame des Secours Hospital, where she was treated for multiple fractures in the knee, foot, and chest. A blood clot was also found in her brain, which slowed her treatment protocol, undergoing multiple surgeries on August 7. She was discharged from the hospital on August 10, and went to her mountain house in Chartoun, after her doctors agreed there was no risk in postponing the treatment of the blood clot.

On August 12, and after her daughter helped her change her clothes, Minerva complained from a terrible headache and passed away shortly after, before she could see her second granddaughter that she was so eager to meet.

Minerva's name was not initially listed with those of the Beirut explosion victims, due to the lack of communication and coordination between different governmental bodies. This was the case of many who have been wounded on August 4, and greatly suffered before leaving this world at a later date. Her family fought hard to finally have her included.

And because human beings are not alone to suffer the loss of their loved ones, Minerva's dog died of sorrow on her pillow, one day after her passing.

Minerva Chartouni is one of many victims of the Port of Beirut explosion, she may have left this earthly world, but she will never leave the hearts of her loved ones.

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