Much-loved Syrian flower boy mourned in Lebanon
A flood of Facebook posts in Lebanon mourning the death of a Syrian refugee flower seller has caught the attention of many
A flood of Facebook posts in Lebanon mourning the death of a Syrian refugee flower seller has caught the attention of many in the country this week.
10-year-old Fares Al-Khodor had been working in the Beirut’s Hamra area since 2007, but had returned to Syria recently and was reportedly killed in an airstrike on the Syrian city of Hasakah.
“No one in Hamra doesn’t know Fares, not a single store in Hamra would shut its doors to Fares, he was special,” Zeinoun Naboulsi, a photographer stationed in Hamra, told Al Arabiya News on Monday.
“His approach was very kind, he wouldn’t beg you to buy his flowers, rather he would make you want to buy them from him,” Naboulsi said.
News of his death came from his older brother Youssef Al-Khodor, who is also a refugee trying to make money selling flowers. Youssef posted the tragic news on Facebook, which quickly spread like wildfire.
“When we found out about Fares’s death on Facebook, his brother had posted about it, we immediately called Youssef to make sure of it, and unfortunately it was true,” Nabousli added.
“Fares was in Lebanon since 2007. He had a warm face, was very cute and all the girls used to get so happy around him.”
Not only did people from the famous Hamra street know Fares but also students who attended the American University of Beirut, as well as several locals from the area.
“When I first met him, I was at SpeakEasy [a bar in Hamra] and he was with my friend and the first image I have of him is this kid in SpeakEasy saying ‘hi’ to everyone and hugging my friend,” Selma Zaki, founder of Lezem organization – a group that advocates for social changes among Lebanese youth, said.
“He was so neat, and very classy and sociable but kind of shy […] he really was a gentleman,” Zaki told Al Arabiya News.
Many have took to Facebook to express their grief and mourn Fares, who wasn’t only a flower seller but “an organic part of the Hamra community,” said Mohammad Hodeib, known as Al Walad, one of the many people who took part in organizing a vigil.
“The reason why we [the Hamra community] organized the vigil is because we all cared for Fares.
“Fares was actually working to support his family and was going to school during the day. He had dreams and ambitions,” he added.
Many Lebanese are still posting their thoughts and prayers for Fares who was not just a flower seller, but a friend, a student, an artist and a part of Hamra who will be missed.
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