Hasan Abdallah and daughter Zaina - a story from the Middle East conflict 2006

“The bombs started falling at about 6 am in my area of south Beirut, where I lived with my wife and four children,” says Hasan. “There was no warning. I was at a printer’s shop, where I work. My family were at home. I rushed home – buildings nearby had been damaged but the flat where we lived was all right.”

“The explosions woke us up,” recalls his teenage daughter Zaina. “We were terrified, running from one room to another as the bombs exploded outside as we tried to work out which part of the flat was safest.

“My parents had arrived in Beirut four days earlier, fleeing their village of Aitaroun in the south because of Israeli attacks,” recalls Hasan. “Now it was our turn. We grabbed some clothes and left home to escape the danger.

“We first went to a school in east Beirut, which was housing people who had fled from their homes. We spent the night there but the conditions were terrible. There were about 400 people, trying to share two bathrooms. Usually, there was no water. Then we were taken in by Navtss.

We’ve been staying here at the Navtss office for 18 days now, sleeping on mattresses like the other displaced people here. I think our home is still standing but the neighbourhood has been mostly destroyed – it’s too dangerous to go back. We just have a few clothes. I have no money and there are six of us to feed. I don’t know what we’ll do. We’re in shock.”

Photo: Hasan Abdallah holding two bags containing all his possessions

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