Twenty-five days into the ceasefire that brought
desperately-needed relief to the people of Lebanon, Hussein Bzeih, 15
and his brother Ali, 13 were seriously hurt in an explosion as they
searched through the rubble of their home.
Bzeih family house was destroyed during the bombardment of southern
Lebanon. On the 6 September 2006, the brothers had returned to search
through the remains of their home for their possessions, as they'd done
many times before.
Looking for school books
two brothers were injured as they picked through the ruin for their
school books. There was no sound. They saw a bluish-yellow flame and
Hussein grabbed at his neck thinking Ali had just thrown something at
him until Ali exclaimed "Stop it! You're tearing at your skin."
Both children needed surgery after suffering second degree burns on their faces.
Relief staff visited Hussein in hospital after he came out of surgery.
The skin on his neck was almost completely removed.
sister, Hiba, a trainee doctor, was in the hospital room. "We were told
about unexploded ordinance but nobody expected there to be anything
like that within a destroyed house!" she said.
spoke of the shock of seeing her brothers with their faces burnt. They
will need at least a month to recover. In the newly regained peace, the
boys had been looking forward to starting school and resuming a normal
This accident adds to the distress the family
already faced on seeing the ruins of the home in which they have lived
for thirty years, and in which the children were born and grew up.
Bzeih family house is in the village of Zebqine in south-west Lebanon,
where 85% of the houses were totally destroyed in the 34-day war. House
after house now lies in ruins. Forty homes were turned to mounds of
concrete, mangled with memories and possessions, just five minutes
before the ceasefire began.
Across Zebqine families are
trying to get by from day to day with no electricity to light their
homes, to store their food or to extract water from their wells. The
Bzeih family is living with friends in Jbeil Botm. They expect that it
will take at least a year or two to rebuild their home.
Farmland scattered with bombs
people of Zebqine depend on charities to supply bottled drinking water
but they don't know how long they receive this. There is no shop for
people to buy even the most basic produce. They can scarcely afford
anything as most have lost their sources of income.
other child from the village has been admitted to hospital today after
being hurt by a bomb. People in every village in the south are
struggling to access their fields where their livelihoods lie. The land
is scattered with bombs that are waiting to be cleared.
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