The Beirut Assasination February 14, 2005
(Directly translated from Al Safir - http://www.assafir.com/iso/oldissues/20050216/local/73.html.)
Yesterday the funeral of several of the citizens who died in the explosion targetting the former PM Rafik Hariri took place. The funerary processions took place in several districts: the north, the south, the mountain, the Beqa - all at a time when sadness, pain, and loss pervaded all of Lebanon.
Yesterday saw the funerals of some of the bystanders who were killed in explosion that assassinated former prime minister Rafiq el Harriri. As sadness, pain, and loss pervades all of Lebanon - funerals take place in all corners of the country.
Writing from Nabatiyah in the south, Adnan Tabajah reports:
Ala' Asfour (20) did not know that her first visit to the downtown Beirut and the St. George would cost her her life. She came from Brayqi' near Nabatiyah to apply for a job at an the employment agencies of which she had slected from a newspaper ad. As she did not know her way around Beirut, she decided to seek the help of her cousin and friend Yamamah Kamil Damin (27), who lives in the southern suburb of Beirut, to guide her to the company's location. While they were in the area, the deadly explosion that targeted Hariri took place. It was their lot to die together and to be joined in the black destiny with the other bystanders. Thus Ala' was not able to fulfill her wish of getting a job by which she could support herself, help out her family, and set out on a professional career, says her father Hasan Asfour, who seemed resigned and patient in the face of what has befallen his daughter.
Kamal Damin, Yamamah's father, mentioned that the two martyrs Ala' and Yamamah, in addition to being cousins, were inseparable friends, joined together by love and loyalty. Fate took them together so that they would be inseparable in death as they were in life. Relatives of the victims recount that the parents did not know of their fate until hours after the explosion. When they were late returning home, their family suspected that they might have been victims of the explosion in the area where they were before noon. When they went to look for them at the given address and did not find them, they headed for the American University Hospital where they found the two charred bodies, barely recognizable. Their funeral took place in a procession in the town of Brayqi' yesterday amidst an atmosphere of sadness and general mourning.
Baalbak, Abd al-Rahim Shalhah:
The people of the town of Bidnayel carried out the funeral of Rawad Hasan Haydar, the son of the Resistance Poet, the lawyer Husayn Haydar. In a procession joined by thousands and led by the MP Basim Yamout and the Imam of the town Shaykh Adib Haydar. Shaykh Haydar gave a speech saying "the martyr Rawad is the title of a poem that has not been written yet and that is still in search of a title" and that the martyr looked forward to a country without sectarian tensions nor political complications. The Shaykh stressed the fact that the crime did not target the person of Hariri but the whole country with all its foundations of civil peace and social security. He called the resolution 1559 a setup (like the carrying of the Masahif by Ahl al-Sham yawm Safin) and called for internal unity in order to miss the chance for the Israel enemy who seeks to become the only secure center and the center of economy and tourism in the region. Ghassan Slayman declared in the name of the family that we are today in the wedding of martyrdom in the name of Arabism and resistance and we will not let the fingers spreading sedition to be stretched into Lebanon. We will continue giving for the sake of our unity, our freedom, our Arabism, and our Islamism. The martyr Haydar was the financial manager for the San George hotel, 41 years old. He was married and had two two sons.
Bint Jbayl (on the southern border):
Bint Jbayl also had its share of the incident. The town lost one of its daughters, Doctor Rima Bazzi (32) as she was exiting HSBC [bank] next to the location of the explosion. The martyr's funeral took place in Beirut with the participation of a large group of the inhabitants of Bint Jbayl who had come to the city to take part of the procession in the presence of MP Ali Bazzi who is also from Bint Jbayl.
Batroun (north on the coast)
Batroun and the town of Tahoum held the funeral for its son the martyr Joseph Aoun, one of the victims of the explosion that cost Hariri his life. His funeral took place in the church of Mar Istifan in his town of birth, Tahoum in the middle of Batroun (Lamia Shdid) in the presence of MP Butrus Harb and a large group of mourners. The head of the Maronite Bishopric of Batroun, Boulus Imil Sa'adeh, led the prayer and gave a word on the martyr who fell victim to a terror strike that shook Lebanon and the world. He expressed his indignation at the sedition and the planting of rancor (malice, resentment) that is being planned in Lebanon. He called for unity in the face of this plan that seeks to destroy our people and the future of our youth. The victim Joseph Aoun was an employee at the St. George Hotel. He fell victim to the explosion as he was sitting at his desk that facing the street where the explosion took place.
Akkar (on the northern plain):
Akkar also had its share of the murder where Haytham Othman (25) of the Town of Majdala Akkar (al-Safir) fell victim while passing on his motorbike when the explosion took place. The matyr Othman worked for one of the restaurants in Beirut and was delivering an order. He was injured critically on the site of the explosion but parted with life soon after he was transported to the American University Hospital. His town, Majdala, carried out his funeral after the noon prayer in the middle of town amidst an atmosphere of great sadness. Ahmad Othman, the martyr's father, expressed his disapproval/horror/loathing/aversion at what had happened and considered that submitting to God's will is the duty of believers. Hytham's brother, Khaled, said it was not Haytham's fault who went to Beirut only to make a living.
Anwar Daw writing on Abdo Tawfiq Abu Farah:
Abdo Tawfiq Abu Farah (65) was in his office in San George doing his work as usual, unawares that he was going to fall martyr to the making of an honorable living, he who persisted to sacrifice in a life full of hard work and altruism. No one could have guessed that his town Hammana would welcome him back carried over their heads a corpse that had only hours earlier been beating with life. Hammana was not on a meeting with martyrdom only, since three of its children were injured in the explosion: Marya Fu'add Farhat, Carol Bashir Farhat (the cousins of MP Abd Allah Farhat) and Fadi Abd Allah Khouri (son of the deceased Abd Allah Khouri whose name is born by the High School of Hammana, who has given land and building so that Hammana and the region should have a high school, and one of the owners of the St. George). Hammana held the funeral yesterday of Abdu Tawfiq Abu Farah in the hall of the Maronite Church of Saint George in the presence of PM of al-Liqa' al-Dimuqrati and other members of political and party cadres and mayors. A service and funeral were carried out over his soul headed by Father Antwan Khalil aided by a host of priests. Father Khalil gave an expose of the late dedication to serving his community, calling attention to the fact that he was an example of loyalty, commitment, and example to follow. The injured were visited in the hospitals by a large number of political and social figures.
* Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Biqa', Al Janub, Ash Shamal, Bayrut, Jabal Lubnan - see map http://ddc.aub.edu.lb/projects/mot/photobase/