Lebanon News

Young aid worker among Mieh Mieh victims

Safadi painting the walls of a school in Mieh Mieh, where he was killed Monday.

BEIRUT: Dozens of young men carried the body, lying on a stretcher and covered in black cloth with orange verse, eyes closed and head wrapped in gauze.

Tarek al-Safadi was one of those killed in Monday’s clashes at the refugee camp of Mieh Mieh in the southern city of Sidon. The 24-year-old was a Palestinian community worker with Naba’a, a local NGO that helps Palestinians and Lebanese communities.

He was buried Tuesday after a funeral procession through Ain al-Hilweh in an atmosphere of anger mixed with grief.

“Tarek ... fell victim to betrayal while performing his humanitarian duty in Mieh Mieh camp for the marginalized Syrian refugee families,” a statement by Naba’a said.

It condemned what it described as a “cowardly, inhumane act that claimed the lives of many innocents.”

“We lost him,” the statement added. “We lost his power to draw a smile on Palestinian children’s faces.”

The statement, which was accompanied by an image of a smiling Safadi playing the violin, called on the camp’s residents to band together and to speak out against injustice.

Safadi was taking down the details of three Syrian refugees in the southern Palestinian camp when clashes broke out between gunmen there. He was shot dead along with the three Syrians while trying to run to safety, according to Naba’a Program Manager Hiba Hamza.

“All the camp are feeling angry and sad about what happened,” she said. “He was really close with all the children and young people.”

A tribute to him on Facebook by a colleague called him “War Child Holland’s most experienced psychosocial support trainer of trainers” and “an amazing young man ... who was a community leader and a confidante for our youth.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 10, 2014, on page 4.




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