Sami Sleem

Sami’s life was never easy, and the 4th of August worsened and further weakened his health condition.

Sami was born in Baabda on December 1, 1932, he is married with five children. Although he suffered from a congenital disability (the short leg syndrome -one of his legs was shorter than the other) he still worked to support his family. He started working in construction at a very young age and became an excellent professional; he retired in his forties to prioritize his family.

Throughout his life, Sami underwent multiple surgeries to correct his disability but things did not work out. More so, his shorter leg sustained six consecutive fractures, and he had no choice but to adapt and rely on his left leg to walk using a crutch, which he considered to be his lifetime companion.

On August 4, 2020, Sami was home in Karantina; he was bored from staying in and he went out to the balcony. He heard fireworks coming from the port of Beirut. At first, he thought it was just another fire at the port and it would be put out soon. Yes, everyone thought so!

This thought had barely crossed his mind when the warehouse exploded, and he was flown for quite some distance inside his house… For a few moments time stopped, and all he could see was smoke and shattered glass all over the place. There were no doors, no windows, and not one piece of furniture remained in place. Everyone was wondering if it was an Israeli attack or an earthquake that hit Beirut!?

Sami started screaming and calling for help. His daughter Hamda, who was in the shower at the time of the explosion, asked people for help to evacuate her dad from the third floor to the ground floor. He recalls that some young people in his neighborhood helped dress his wounds.

Days went by and Sami started to identify the pain; he lost 90% of his hearing following the Beirut explosion, and he was dizzy most of the time. Moreover, he suffered from osteoporosis, pulmonary edema, and diabetes, in addition to memory loss. Today, Sami is physically disabled and uses a wheelchair for his movement.
80-year-old Sami does not forget the organizations that supported him and rehabilitated his home.

His daughter says that her father’s health condition was much better; he was independent, but today, his condition drastically deteriorated, and he barely talks because of his memory loss.

She adds: “my father only wishes to go out for a walk, he asks the Ministry of Health to support him and provide the medication NGOs are no longer able to provide.”