Najib Hitti

27-year old Najib was the kindest soul… His fellow paramedics and firefighters recall how caring and loving he was. He worked at the Beirut Fire Department with his brother in law Charbel Karam, and his cousin Charbel Hitti.

Najib was passionate about trucks and bulldozers, and worked with his uncle in construction, before enlisting with the department on January 2018. Najib attended school in his village, and earned his middle school certificate. He then enrolled in a vocational institute to specialize in heavy machinery mechanics.

In 2006, he participated in the digging of Darb Salib Trail through Kartaba, then volunteered with Kartaba civil defense for four years.

When he enlisted with the Lebanese Fire Department, he was first dispatched to the Tarik Jdide Center. Later, he was transferred to Karantina, as a fire truck driver, after he attended multiple trainings with the Fire Department Training Center, and with the Lebanese army.

Najib was also a passionate off-roader; in 2016, he won a medal in off-roading.

At the brigade, he drove fast but steady, and was asked to slow his driving multiple times, but he used to say, "the faster I drive, the faster I get to save people in distress".

Najib, the decent young man who put his life at stake to rescue people during fires and natural disasters, died a martyr on August 4.

On that day, he was normally going about his daily tasks. At 5:52 PM, the department received an emergency call about a fire at the Port of Beirut, without further information. He responded immediately, and Charbel, his brother-in-law, was leading the mission. Charbel called his wife and told her that her brother was driving too fast.

When they arrived at the port they found out the fire was huge and needed additional backup. A few minutes after their arrival, warehouse number 12 blew up, and all communication with the team was lost.

The warehouse fire was nothing compared to the burning in the heart of Najib's family who talked to him one last time around 3:55 PM. Najib responded to the fire, but will the government respond to his mother's pain, and let justice prevail? Days passed, and lots of fake promises were made; at the end, the family received half a dead body, eleven days after the explosion.

A month after the blast, Najib's father received a phone call asking him to come to the hospital because they found additional remains belonging to his late son. Najib's grave was opened and a new funeral was organized.

Najib was commended by the Lebanese Fire Department Chief, and was promoted to corporal by decree 1872 on 25/8/2020.

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