The Forgotten Victims of Lebanon’s Assassinations

Ghazi Bou Karroum. He was killed when Marwan Hamadeh was targeted.

Rima Bazzi, Yamama Daher, Abd l Hamid Ghlayini, Zahi Bou Rjeili, Ziad Lthahabi. They were all killed when Rafik Hariri was assassinated.

Nicolas Flouti and Andre Mrad. They were killed when Gebran Tueini was assassinated.

Ralph Chikhani. He died when Antoine Ghanem was assassinated.

Georgette Sarkissian. She died when Wissam Al Hassan was targeted in Friday’s Achrafieh Explosion.

Khaled Ido. The son of assassinated MP Walid Ido.

Francois el Hajj, Wissam Eid…. these are people who were assassinated but who somehow rank less on the Lebanese scale of importance when it comes to assassinations because their deaths are not as relevant to political causes.

There are much more victims than this. But these are the only names I remember. They are the victims practically one remembers whenever a top Lebanese official gets assassinated. They are the ones whose deaths cannot be turned into a political scene.

They are the ones whose only fault was being at work, trying to bring food to their family’s tables, going to reheat food for their children who are coming back from school. Their only fault was being at the wrong place at the wrong time. In ten seconds, these people lost their lives. Their children lost a father, a mother. Their mothers and fathers lost their sons and daughters… only for their loved ones’ memory to get diluted in political rhetoric that doesn’t acknowledge their sacrifice to begin with. And if it does, it’s only mentioned sporadically, anonymously, like an irrelevant byproduct of a terrorist act.

They are the people who lost their homes with every explosion and who, when the political excitement subsides in a day or two, will still not have a shelter above their heads and no one to care about that.

These people were not important enough to be buried in Downtown’s newly founded cemetery (apparently we have one now). They were not important enough to be named separately in news report pieces. They are always reported as “and X people also died.” That’s why I couldn’t find any other names.

So we convince ourselves that we’ll mention these people in our prayers. That somehow, in our heads, they are not forgotten. But we only talk about the only person that mattered in the assassination. We don’t even know how many people died in the Achrafieh explosion. But it doesn’t matter anymore. When it wasn’t clear if the explosion was targeted against someone, everyone was talking about victims. When more details surfaced, the talk became about a victim.

It seems that our fate as Lebanese is to be slain in the assassinations of others as nothing more than props that can be disposed of at any moment.

May the forgotten victims of Lebanon’s so many assassinations and most recently Achrafieh’s blast rest in peace. And may their memory forever be present in the minds of those who care.

PS: If you want to help the victims of the Achrafieh explosion, check out this #Achrafieh4all and #SassineAid twitter feed. Also contact this phone number: 70-001319