Therese was born in the southern town of Bkassine in 1935, she had two sisters and two brothers. She was one of the first women to become a nurse in Lebanon, and she was also one of the founders of the intensive care unit in the hospital she worked in. She went to Paris in 1988 where she worked in the “Foyer Franco-Libanais” as a social activist. She then acquired French citizenship. Therese returned to Lebanon after having reached retirement age in 2016.
“If there were 50,000 Lebanese people in Paris, Therese surely helped 15,000 of them”, says Boushra, her niece, to whom Therese had a special place in her heart. Therese lived in France where she helped any expatriate, holding onto her Lebanese roots no matter how far she goes.
During her days in Lebanon, she experienced a catastrophe that compares to the Civil war: on the 4th of August, Therese was suffering from a hip injury, which made her use a wheelchair.
That day, she was in her apartment. Her sister woke her up and placed her on the wheelchair. The first explosion took place, and Therese shouted: “They’re bombing us!”, praying for the Virgin Mary. These were her last words before the second explosion ripped through Beirut. She perished instantly, before being transported to a hospital. This was the end of a long life of giving, loving, and struggling for humanity.
The family waited until midnight to start the funeral proceedings, after which she was buried in Bkassine the next day.
The news of her death struck all those who knew her. “She was loving”, says Boushra, “She was my second mom”. She was known for her generosity, her kindness, and her loyalty. She welcomed everyone with open arms. She never rejected anyone in her home in Paris. What’s left of her now is her honorable reputation, like the rest of the innocent victims, who are remembered through the tears of their loved ones.