Over 170 people died in the explosion on August 4th, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon. Hayat’s son, Shadi, was one of them.
Hayat is a 65-year-old woman living in Ashrafieh, a community in the eastern part of Beirut. She lived through the long years of civil war in Lebanon with her daughter Nancy, and her son Shadi. At 2 years old, Shadi lost his hearing and his ability to speak when a bomb exploded too close to his home.
Despite their hardships as a family, Hayat is a strong woman and resourceful mother. She had always found a way to provide for her children when they needed her.
The day of the explosion, Hayat was watering flowers at her community church. Her daughter and her son were both out of the house visiting their friends.
After the explosion, Nancy ran to her mother’s rescue. She found her mother bleeding and injured from the broken windows and flying glass. Hayat had cuts on her chest and hands, and her daughter quickly rushed her to the hospital.
As soon as Hayat was treated for her wounds, she went looking for her son. She went from hospital to hospital with his photo. She explained that he was deaf and would not be able to give anyone his name. She pointed to his photo, asking hospital staff if they recognized him.
Sadly, the next day, Shadi’s body was found in the wreckage by the civil defense team. He had been visiting one of his friends, and he died when the building collapsed.
Despite the grief of losing her beloved son, Hayat is finding support and hope with the help of Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR).
The explosion caused damage to the ceiling and the walls of her house. The doors and windows were broken and shattered. CLWR is working with their partner organizations on the ground in Lebanon to rebuild Hayat’s house.
Hayat says she considers the support to be a gift from God. In fact, until engineers came to her house to start doing assessments, she says she could hardly believe it was true.
The contractors have started working on her house now. They want to make sure that Hayat and Nancy have a home in time for the winter.