Ralph Mallahi

"See you soon bro!"… It was the last thing Ralph, a paramedic with Beirut Fire Brigade, said to his brother David who was seven years older than him… These words cut through David's heart every day.

Ralph or "Roro" was a happy child who always smiled. He grew up to be a caring, loving human being. His bravery and impulsiveness pushed him to enlist with the Beirut Fire Brigade, three years ago. It was not a job, it was a prayer, and an act of faith. Ralph also wanted a secure job in the public sector, so he could live in dignity, and support his most important people –his mom and dad.

On Tuesday morning, Ralph woke up early, and got ready for work. He passed by his neighbour Siham and asked her to check on his parents during the day, and promised her they would have dinner together when he gets back. When he arrived to the fire department, he asked his officer in charge if he could leave for a few hours to fix his car.

He went to the mechanic who fixed the car, and insisted for the repair fees to be paid in fresh dollars. Ralph, who had just settled twelve monthly instalments at the bank, did not have enough money. He resorted to his brother David, and went to see him at work in Zalka. He told him he couldn't afford the amount in fresh dollars, and David reassured him and told him not to worry, that he can't stand seeing him sad, and he could count on him. Ralph was relieved, he hugged his brother and told him he would see him soon. He returned to the fire department and arrived around 12:30 PM.

At 5:00 PM he received a call from his mother. She told him she will be sending him some apple juice with his brother, after 6:00 PM… At 6:07 PM, a huge explosion was heard all over Lebanon… At Ain Remmene it felt like an earthquake… His mother felt a pain deep down and screamed: Ralph is gone.

Ralph was missing, and his family still hoped, no matter how impossible it was, that he would still be hanging on somewhere. On August 13, 2020, Ralph was confirmed a victim of the Beirut blast.