Kristel Kozal Lahoud wrote in “Kataeb.org”:
It was as if history was writing a new kind of pain for her that no other woman had known. A deep pain that years or days cannot extinguish. Numbers are not enough to erase the sound, the noise, the smell and the sight. On the contrary, all these are combined. More and more, day after day, it becomes more ingrained and more in her memory, which has lost the luster and taste of life. Sometimes the pain is not visible, or sometimes it is clear on the faces, but the most painful pains are the silent ones, drawn by tears and stitched by thorns, pains that keep away from cameras and pens and that absorb the punishment of life, satisfied to say: We thank God.
She is the mother of Joe Akiki, mrs. Nouhad, who spoke with our website…
two years later harbor bombing crime And Joe’s farewell, how did you spend it?
After two years the wound has not healed and the pain is greater, and here the wound is reopened every August 4 of every year, and I lived with memories, I remember situations we lived together, I remember words he said had for me, dreams he wanted to build. On August 4th I felt a “pinch” again and the world closed in my face.
What is the method you use to compensate for this bitterness you feel?
I have no choice but to pray, I have woven a strong spiritual relationship through which I feel that Joe lives with me, and no one can understand it except me, because it is an invisible relationship, but ‘ a personal relationship that is greater than any mind can imagine, by my praise, that I hate one love, two years passed with pain To say the least, it is a deep pain. Today, when I see a butterfly flying, I feel as if the spirit of Joe is near me, when I feel a breath of air, I feel that it has carried an atmosphere for me. I know it exists. Through prayer I feel that I am able to recognize what is in my being. There is a lot of anger inside me, and I try to forgive, but it is very difficult for me.
You turn to prayer to heal your wounds, what about the court?
We asked for justice, but no one responded. The judge suspended the investigation of the case since October. Those wanted by the court became representatives, and I am still waiting for a regional decision to know on which beach Lebanon is going to land. I demand an independent judiciary, and I blame a lot on everyone who planned and introduced nitrates, and all officials were aware of this disaster, and despite it they blew up, wronged, killed and destroyed.
Recently a fire broke out in the sheds of the Beirut port, and we have seen movements in this regard. What was your position?
The burning of the nonsense is fabricated because he exposed them because he is truly the silent witness. And I want to ask: What law, religion or custom allows them to touch cemeteries? Unfortunately, my state did. Corruption is persistent and rampant in the country, and each of the officials works at the expense of his own interest.
Akiki: He used to tell me, “Let my cross enlighten us all.”
Besides the rosary, Joe’s cross by which you identified his body, is he with you?
No, Joe was buried with the cross, his neck was swollen and soft flesh was hanging from his neck on the cross, so the doctor didn’t allow me to take him at that time….. I would always warn Joe and tell him: “Mama, take off your cross”, you could be stolen in Your work in the barns while you were sleeping, and he always told me: “Don’t worry about me, let me lift each other, we and the barn are a single family, and there’s no such thing as this atmosphere, you don’t think of me.”
How would you describe Joe?
Joe did more than one act of love, he was exuberant, loving, kind, the dynamo, always smiling, strong, and it let me down was betrayed. He could have redeemed himself, if only they had told him that he could quit his job on the day of the explosion, he would have gone home and reached Kfardebian in 20 minutes and what happened would not have happened.
What do you remember most about it? And what did he look like to you?
He loved the earth like me and compared me to his impulsiveness, his nervousness, the desire for perfection and the pursuit of the best in everything. He was also a “baby boy” and humble. I have a sadness inside me for his youth, for his “savvy”, for his dreams, for his morals. But on the other hand I say we thank God for the presence of his father and sister with me. They are the reason for me to continue and strive to stand by their side. I also thank God for the people, his comrades, the pastor, the chosen ones, who have not left me since that fateful day and who have offered me a space to express through them what is going on in my heart and that is ‘ a necessary factor for me to persevere. When the door to my house closes, we have an eerie silence in the house.
Akiki: Black entered my blood, and our Lord “chose” Joe when he closed his eyes on August 4
Two years after the bombing and amid the difficult living conditions the country is going through, are you thinking of emigrating?
No, I cling more and more to my home and country, because of Joe’s memories, his things, his suitcase and outside is nothing better than here. Whatever happens, I won’t leave Lebanon, and I’m sticking to it, because Joe’s blood is here. Joe was committed to patriotism and passion and his fight for the Kataeb Party is the greatest proof of that, and he wanted everything to be exemplary and for his country to be like that. I’m not one to run away and Joe didn’t accept the ordinary, but he wanted everything special.
What changed in Vicki after losing Joe?
Tell me what’s left of me instead, I’m broken… I have no control over. I die a hundred times after losing Joe. I used to wear black to hide my flaws, but today black has entered my blood. They burned my heart, yes… My life is over and the emptiness is eroding me from the inside. The loss is terrible and Joe was a pillar of the house. In the past, a strong-willed daughter of mine died, at the age of 4, and after years, Joe died as a young man, and since then I ask my Lord when the world closes in my face : “How many more palm strikes are waiting for me?”
But after death there is a resurrection, do you believe to meet him on that day?
Yes, this is my faith and my hope, and I know that our Lord “chose” Joe when he closed his eyes and left. And every night I pray and say: I know that Joe is in a beautiful place, in the arms of God and with the angels, and that’s what reassures me.” Sometimes I see him in my sleep with a smile on his face and laugh. The Day of Resurrection, and I am sure that he is in heaven, so it is enough that he died unjustly in this country for God to receive him in his arms, and I say to him: “Oh, my mother, hopefully we will meet… Inshallah.”