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Beirut.com 12 Jul 2015

Fares Al-Khodor, the Syrian Boy Who Made Beirut a Better, Brighter Place, is Dead

If you’ve spent time in Hamra over the past few years, you probably know Fares Al-Khodor. You’re likely to remember his overly polite mannerisms, his gentle smile, and his big dark brown eyes filled with the optimism of a child, yet tinged with the familiarity of someone much older.

With his hair slicked back and his clothes impeccably tidy and stylish, he would walk into the bustling bars and restaurants of Hamra, only to be immediately met with high fives and hellos from everyone around; he was a friend to many, and he was loved by all. In fact, it became common practice to take a photo with Fares during your night out; he was Hamra’s little celebrity, and he was everyone’s little brother. A rose seller by night, Fares would spend his free time painting and dreaming about becoming an artist, or a doctor, or a lawyer, or even an astronaut, according to his many friends.

Fares died on Thursday, July 9 as a result of an airstrike on his hometown of Al-Hasakah in Syria, according to his brother, Youssef. LBCI News also reported on the story in this news segment.

A few months ago, several people recall Fares excitedly sharing with them his big news: he was to return to Syria and go back to school. Fares would finally return to some kind of a normal childhood; a childhood in which he would play with his friends, go to school, and not have to worry about selling enough roses by the end of the night. After mourning years of Fares’ lost childhood, we are now left to mourn the loss of his life.

The Syrian conflict has displaced 4 million people and killed more than 200,000 – a number that many consider a conservative estimate. What can we say about the 200,000 Fares’s that were left to perish? What words would begin to give their lost lives justice?

Rest in peace, Fares. Hamra will feel a little empty, and the whole world a lot less rosy.

Please join us in sharing your favorite memories of Fares on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPFares or in the comments section below.

[All images via Facebook]