BEIRUT — Mohammad al-Mohammad, who died in Turkey on Feb. 6, was buried in his hometown al-Abboudiyeh in Akkar on Monday, reported L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the North.
In a speech given at Mohammad's funeral in al-Abboudiyeh, Sheikh Abdul Karim al-Zoubi blamed the Lebanese state for the young man's death, saying that it “led the youth to migrate by sea towards the unknown and to leave the country in search of a decent life.”
Akkar MP Walid al-Baarini attended the funeral as well as mayors and municipality heads from the region.
Mohammad's body was returned to Beirut on Sunday.
He was one of three Lebanese that were trapped under the rubble of the Ozcan Hotel in Antakya. One of the young men, Bassel Habkouk, was rescued. Mohammad and Elias Haddad were found dead.
According to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, the earthquake killed at least 16 Lebanese people in Turkey alone.
"We worked for 36 hours straight before we reached Mohammad's body. It then took us another 18 hours to be able to extract him from the rubble," Civil Defense official Youssef Mallah stated on Sunday.
In neighboring Syria, where the earthquake killed over 5,000 people, several sources confirmed to L'Orient that at least three Lebanese were killed. Among those killed in the tragedy were a Lebanese-Syrian mother and her daughter from Tripoli who died in Latakia, as well as a Lebanese priest. The latter's remains were brought back to Lebanon.
Several rescue teams were dispatched from Lebanon to Syria and Turkey within hours of the disaster. The earthquake was also felt in Lebanon, causing fear among residents. Many fled their buildings for fear that they would collapse. While several buildings in Lebanon were damaged, no casualties or injuries were reported.
The disaster, which has claimed over 44,000 lives in Turkey and Syria, has devastated both countries and left survivors homeless in the midst of the harsh winter.
Additional reporting by Michel Hallak