Moudi, 38 years old, She/They
Moudi had to leave school at a very young age. Her teacher beat her, punished her and detained her during recess. She didn’t want to go to school anymore, and her parents didn’t put up any resistance. All this happened because Moudi was not a child like the others. The result of all this: Moudi can neither read nor write. She scribbles to sign any documents presented to her. However, she likes to draw, she tells us. Thank God.
Moudi gives thanks to God constantly. Abandoned by her family at the age of 15, insulted in the street because of her appearance, mocked for her fragility and kindness, she still gives thanks to God. Having lost all her furniture, appliances, identification papers following the explosion of the port of Beirut, injured and then hospitalized, rendered homeless, without work, without support, she remains steadfast that everything will be fine. Thank God.
The impossible return
Moudi is fundamentally altruistic and benevolent. She was abandoned by her parents at the tender age of 15 but still believes to this day, more than 20 years later, that it was her “fault”, because she’s different, because of who she is. Had she been like “everyone else”, she would not have disappointed her family.
Having been repudiated by her parents and prohibited to get in touch with any of her family members, Moudi regularly calls a neighbor of her childhood home to get some news about her family. During our interview, we asked her when was the last time she contacted this kind neighbor. She replied: “Last week. I would love for my family to talk to me again and for all of us to sit at the same table.”
Moudi is a woman in a man’s body. She dresses as a woman to feel good, to be with her friends, but she will never want to have surgery or take hormones. When she explained the reason behind this decision, it was like as a mystical revelation to us. How is it possible to love the other so much, to the point of enduring a lifetime of self-sacrifice?
“When I die, only my parents will be there to take care of my body. They need to be told to come and get HIM, they don’t need to hear come and get HER. I do not know if you understand what I mean. I am always thinking of the others.”
The eternal return
For several years, Moudi took care of the cleaning and the cooking at a friend’s house whose apartment she shared in exchange for her part of the rent. Even though she was kicked out of the family home at the age of 15, she had time to learn her mother’s culinary secrets and she is proud to inform us that she prepares the best stuffed grape leaves and an excellent mouloukieh.
It is because of this talent that she managed to get a job at a restaurant and earn enough money to realize a dream: To live alone, to be independent and no longer be indebted to anyone.
She rented an apartment in Ashrafieh and, after 5 happy years, she managed to furnish it exactly to her liking and settle in it comfortably with a bed, a mattress, a fridge, some sofas and even a flower vase she would garnish with roses and sit by it to smoke the hookah. Everything she wanted was there: Happiness, peace and security, until this fateful date of August 4th, 2020.
For Moudi, August 4th began as an ordinary day off. She got up around 10am, cleaned the house, prepared a meal, and then she blacked out. Nothingness.
When she regained consciousness, she found herself in the intensive care unit at a local hospital.
After 3 days in intensive care followed by 10 days of observation, Moudi finally left the hospital to return to her apartment. She found nothingness there.
Nothing was intact or salvageable. No furniture, no fridge, no vase, no roses, no hookah, no identity cards. Nothing.
It was also nothingness on the logistical and financial side of things. A small amount of financial aid from the NGO MOSAIC allowed her to convince a friend to temporarily host her at her place, in a small town north of Beirut. She still lives there. She now pays rent by doing the cooking and the housework. Back to square one.
What can make life better
When we asked Moudi what would make her life better, she answered without hesitation:
“Having my life return to the way it was before the explosion, getting a job and a place of my own. I dream of finding work, but for that I have to move back to the city. I am ready to work hard and make enough money to afford my own place. I want to live alone and have my privacy again.”
“I would also like to buy furniture and clothes, so that I can get dressed again. “
“I know life is easier abroad. But I also know that I will not be able to get a visa if I just applied for one. I will need someone to sponsor me, but I do not know anyone with enough means to do that. »
“Abroad, they treat people who are different with respect and dignity. Here they ridicule me. When I walk by, I see people spitting or I hear them say: look at that! If I complain to the police, they just tell me there is nothing they can do about it.”
“When I was 15, I felt as a ‘she’, yet I was a ‘him’. I don’t talk to anyone about this because there is no one I could trust to confide in. If I say that to others, they will take advantage of me. Thank you for giving me the space to share this with you. It really helped me.”
6 months in rent, transport, food, clothing: CAD 6,000
Furniture and appliances: 5,000 cad
Total : 11 000 CAD