Zeinab Anani is a 76-year-old Lebanese woman. She lives in Kounine with three daughters, two of whom have severe mental handicaps. Because of her age, Zeinab is unable to work, but her eldest daughter has had some success as a farmer, growing olive and fig trees and tobacco to support the four of them.
When the war began in the summer of 2006, Zeinab and her daughters fled to the nearby town of Jwaya, a difficult trip due to Zainab’s age and her daughters’ handicaps. Soon, though, it became apparent that they had not gone far enough, and after a few days of heavy bombardment in Jwaya, they moved further north to Dahyeih, a Southern suburb of Beirut, where a friend took them in. In Dahyeih, their luck got worse. Little did they know that Dahyeih would soon become one of the main targets of the Israeli bombardment, sending them fleeing once again to Bourj Hammoud, an Armenian suburb just north of Beirut.
The day after the war ended, the four women returned to Kounine. Zeinab describes her homecoming like dressing again after weeks of being exposed. But the homecoming was not all joy. A room in the back of the house had been obliterated by an Israeli strike. Their trees and tobacco had been lost too, leaving almost no money for repairs.
Zeinab’s daughter describes how they heard about HFHL from the municipality. “We were skeptical at first, but when your engineer visited us to make the assessment, we knew we could count on you.” Now, with the repairs to her home done, Zeinab expresses gratitude to HFHL: “What you did was a great work. You helped the whole village. When we needed help the most, you came to help us. What more could we ask for?”