Moustapha Ayrout

Moustapha Ayrout

The sea anchor man… That is how his relatives described him when he was missing. Moustapha had a sea anchor tattoo on his right hand…

30 year-old Moustapha from Baniyas in Syria, was a brother, a son, a husband, and a father to a three-year old boy whom he hasn’t seen since he was a few months old.

Moustapha worked onboard the Orient Queen Cruise Ship for the last eight months. However, he was a sailor from a very young age. He started sailing at seventeen, and worked in ships' maintenance. He was never in one place, and would sail with the ship's crew from one country to another. His line of work is the very reason he couldn’t see his family for the past two years.

Ten days before the explosion, Moustapha called his sister; they talked and laughed and he promised he will see her soon, after he gets his legal paperwork done to be cleared for leaving the Port of Beirut.

The cruise ship was Moustapha's home, after he fled war in his home country. The only place he would go to, outside the ship, is the port's dock.

Moustapha was the only one allowed outside the ship, on the dock, from the cruise's crew. On that same dock, he was last seen when the fire erupted in warehouse number 12. Everyone on the ship survived while Moustapha died, as if he was paying the price of his little freedom.

The search for his body extended for more than ten days… No one knows how he spent his last moments. All they know is that he was closely watching the fire. His family in Syria was not ready to accept his death. They hoped they’d find him alive. They went on social media to find him, hoping someone would tell them about his whereabouts.

His brother in law, Bassam, kept searching for him from one hospital to the other… Rescue teams found human remains. Bassam had lost hope, and convinced Moustapha's father to do the DNA test that confirmed his son's death.

Moustapha passed away… A young man who escaped the war, to die on the dock of the Port of Beirut.

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