The town of Btater was one of the areas affected by the wildfires that invaded Lebanon on Monday. As the fire was getting too close to the houses, a young father of two babies rushed bravely out to provide succor for his village, doing so fearlessly while urging all other residents to help.
Salim Abou Mjahed was 33-year young when the heavy smoke of the blazing flames suffocated his lungs and cruelly left fatherless two babies, Naji aged 2 and Ralph barely 12 months, and a young widow to raise them by her own.
Painful as his passing is to his family, Salim's burst of bravery and magnanimity were not in vain. He assumed a vital role in helping control the encroaching flames and secure the area with the help of the Lebanese Civil Defense and the people of Btater.
Following this accomplishment, Salim, who's culturally named Abou Naji, found himself deeply relieved but also exhausted and overwhelmed, and headed home to catch some rest. Sadly, rest wouldn't come to him as he started experiencing chest pain. He passed away as the ambulance was rushing him to the hospital.
As diagnosed, Salim suffocated from the heavy smoke he had inhaled during his brave endeavors to save the houses of his village. He went short on oxygen, which caused the chest pain and his death.
Currently, the entire village mourned its loyal and brave son deemed a martyr of sacrifice and selflessness. Salim assumed his moral and civic responsibility in extinguishing the wildfire on that hill, but a new one has started in the hearts of the people who loved him dearly, especially his family.
His parents, who treasured him as a humane man who had acted out of love and fear for his entourage, are heartbroken at the loss of their son. Their grief was even more painful to witness when Salim's brother, who has rushed flying home from abroad, was received with tears at the funeral.
Salim's bravery in saving his village caused him to leave behind a young wife and two very young kids. These little ones will come to proudly hold their father as a hero, as they will grow up hearing the stories of how their father stood out with his courage and magnanimity amidst the lethal danger, helping to save Lebanon during one of its most devastating times.
In recognition and support, and while nothing can possibly make up for such loss, MP Farid Al Boustany has taken the initiative to offer scholarships for Salim's two sons, and three-month salary to his family as a small help during this period.
We offer our warmest condolences to the Abou Mjahed family as well as the village of Btater for the loss of this noble young man, and we hope they find a little comfort in that this tragedy was the result of an act of complete bravery and honor.