Over two decades ago, an outrageous tragedy took place in Abu Samra, Tripoli. Throughout the years, residents of the town heard the story of a woman who committed an unspeakable murder in 1997.
Finally, the story gets some unexpected closure.
Sentenced to life, Ibtissam Al-Kashef, now 59 of age, served her time in Qobbeh Prison in Tripoli. There, she wouldn’t sleep for days on end haunted by regret for years.
She was the oldest inmate until MTV’s show, Aatel Aan El-Horiye, stepped in and worked for many years to grant her pardon.
MTV’s first attempt was rejected in 2018, but they didn’t give up on Ibtissam. Their second try was a success and she was released in 2020.
Ibtissam was beautiful in her youth and spoiled as the youngest child. She was well educated and, at 24-years-old, she married a charming man who she fell madly in love with. He adored her too and they had three children together.
But years after their wedding, her husband started looking outside of the marriage. He had eyes for a beautiful woman named Rakhima who he eventually took as a second wife.
The scandal took place in public. Ibtissam said that people in her neighborhood used to tell her they saw her husband with another woman.
Understandably, this was unacceptable for Ibtissam, who displayed depressive symptoms before the crime. Psychiatrists assigned by MTV agreed that she wasn’t in a proper mental state when she committed the murder.
She wanted revenge but didn’t take it from her husband nor his new wife. As a result of her delusional state of mind, Ibtissam concluded that it was her next-door neighbor, Leila El-Tom, who introduced her husband to this new woman.
Putting the blame on her neighbor, Ibtissam plotted for three days how to get back at her. “I wanted to make her feel just as bad as I did,” she told MTV.
In her mind, she equated the loss of her husband as a mother’s loss of her child. Terrifyingly, Ibtissam committed premeditated murder by dropping Leila’s 2-year-old son from the balcony of the 5th floor, feeling instant regret…
In prison, all Ibtissam wished for was to see her neighbor and friend Leila. She had to see Leila and apologize to her, and in 2014 MTV’s program made that happen.
Leila had a big heart, she agreed to visit Ibtissam. Somehow, she found it in herself to forgive her, not an easy matter at all for a mother.
When driving through the prison gate, all Leila could say was that it looked like a terrible place to be and hoped that God be with Ibtissam who is suffering for decades inside.
Peace of mind was more important to Ibtissam than freedom. When she saw Leila, she begged at her feet for forgiveness. While urging her to stand up, Leila said, “I already forgave you from the first week.”
Their encounter took place in 2014. This year, Ibtissam was released with the help of a lawyer, psychiatrists, and people from the MTV program.
Last weekend, during Eid El-Fitr, this Aatel Aan El-Horiye episode aired, telling the story of redemption and the path to forgiveness and second chances.
Our team works tirelessly to ensure Lebanese people have a reliable alternative to the politically-backed media outlets with their heavily-funded and dangerous propaganda machines. We've been detained, faced nonstop cyber attacks, censorship, attempted kidnapping, physical intimidation, and frivolous lawsuits draining our resources. Financial support from our readers keeps us fighting on your behalf. If you are financially able, please consider supporting The961's work. Support The961. Make a contribution now.