“Luckily, no one was at home when the explosion took place, otherwise it would have been a disaster.”
Meet Muhieddine, a 17-year-old member of the boy scouts’ group of the Ibad Al Rahman Association. In episode (4) , he shares his story about the volunteering efforts his group made right after the Beirut blast on August 4th, 2020.
Being a part of that group since he was 7 years old, he spent countless hours in camping trips, educational retreats, and community service projects. Him and his team were prepared to jump on the volunteering work within few hours after the explosion took place.
While his house was affected by the explosion, Muheddeine still looked after other people’s houses. He felt that “people’s house are as important as his”. It was painful for him to see the shattered glass, the broken doors, and the messed-up furniture. He felt bad for the families who were afraid to touch anything that had glass on it, and were helpless and clueless on how and where to start.
Looking back at the early days after the explosion, our buddy Muhieddine shared beautiful moments of how his team provided emotional support to the impacted families. They made sure to break the awkward silence and the scenes of destruction with their laughs and their singing and their smiles. He appreciated how the residents were concerned for the safety of the volunteers as well, since they treated them as though they were their children. And finally, the best gift you can offer a volunteer like Muhieddine : A thank you word, a duaa (prayer), and an encouraging word!
In Lebanon, sectarianism is the big elephant in the room, and separating people into sects and parties is the commonly known language of communication. Despite being a religious organization, Ibad Al Rahman volunteers did not see that as an obstacle, and the people were united about the cause itself regardless of the religious or political affiliation. Mohieddine recalls some chants that the team sang during their work, that emphasized their service to the whole country:
كشافة عباد الرحمن علم علم في الإيمان
جئنا يا رب ندعوك لتحيي فينا الأوطان
We are the boy scouts of Ibad Al Rahman,
We are people of knowledge, faith, and practice
We came to you our Lord, praying,
So that you revive our nations, through our service
“The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.” – DeAnn Hollis
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