Fauzi, one of our youth, tells his moving story
(We have translated verbatim from his account in Arabic):
“I was sitting at the computer watching my favorite movie, as I usually do at that time. It was 10 at night. My younger brother was busy on the Internet. My father and mother were dining together and were conversing. We enjoyed the peace of God and His protection.
But then suddenly, there came that moment that I had wished would never come and which I did not want anyone to experience. It was this tremendous explosion that shook the whole house and made all of us tremble. Immediately after the explosion, the power went out throughout the building. My family and I ran to the kitchen; we were barefoot and were stepping on the remains of glass windows that had broken and were scattered throughout the house. Here we locked ourselves in, being the place farthest from the street. My mother and brother were left speechless due to the shock, and my father was trembling with fear. In those few seconds, I felt that we had reached our end. It was the end of the simple life that we had led, and also of our hopes. I felt that in that instant that my dreams, my future and everything with it were snatched away from me. I heard people screaming, others crying, and there was also the noise of breaking glass. There was no light, and I could not see what was happening. It was a strange experience, like being in a ghost town. Then we lit candles and began to pray the Lord’s Prayer asking for God’s protection: “You, Lord, are the One who protects us”. Later, I tried to go out to the balcony to see what was going on. But I could not see anything because of the dust that filled everything. At that time, while I was on the balcony, the shooting started. I saw with my own eyes the fire of the shots in the dark. And at that instant, I had the feeling of being in the grips of death. Then I ran to where my family was and I said “nothing happened, there’s nothing to fear.” They were not in a position to know the truth because they were still in shock.
After a few minutes, we heard voices of people trying to break the door of our building. We started yelling but no one answered. We thought they were terrorists trying to enter in order to hide or to kill us, but when they left our apartment, we discovered that they were security guards who wanted to know how we were and if there were any casualties or injuries. Thank God there was none. Then we learned that the explosion was caused by a mortar (shell) that had fallen on the second floor of our building, just below our apartment. By God’s grace, the homeowner had not suffered any damage. God “wrote him a new life” (he began to live again), as we say here, because he was sitting right in the room where the mortar fell, but the Holy Spirit inspired him to go out of there, and he went to the back of the house , to the kitchen to prepare dinner. While he was on the way, the explosion occurred…
We decided to get away from our house, because we were terrified. And so we went, in pajamas, to the house of an uncle, a few minutes away from our home. As I walked hurriedly, I was reviewing how everything had taken place. I remembered that on that very morning, while praying my daily rosary, with special fervor I had asked my mother, the Virgin Mary, to protect me and my family, that she take care of us, her children. I prayed as if I knew or sensed that something would happen that day … And really my prayer was accepted and answered by the Blessed Virgin, because she protected us from the shell by the providence of her Son Jesus Christ, my Savior and protector.
… I wish that you, who are reading this now, could feel what I felt in those moments, so that even if you cannot come here to help us, you could pray for us. So this is what I ask of you, only to pray! ”