Echoes from Alma al-Shaab: Robert Ghosn’s lifesaving moments for Christina Assi and Carmen Joukhadar amidst Israeli strikes

Lebanon News
2023-10-15 | 23:16
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Echoes from Alma al-Shaab: Robert Ghosn’s lifesaving moments for Christina Assi and Carmen Joukhadar amidst Israeli strikes
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3min
Echoes from Alma al-Shaab: Robert Ghosn’s lifesaving moments for Christina Assi and Carmen Joukhadar amidst Israeli strikes

"It was a normal day," begins Robert Ghosn, responsible for managing live transmission at LBCI, his voice steady yet laced with the haunting resonance of a horrific day in southern Lebanon.
 
When reports of infiltration from Alma al-Shaab toward the Israeli settlement of Shtula emerged, live streaming operations were initiated. That typical procedure abruptly shifted when an exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israel dramatically altered the day's course.
 
Primarily tasked with operational roles—setting up live streams while the cameraman executes the broadcasting—Ghosn’s role pivoted chillingly when missiles impacted near their location. 

"We started the live streaming. I walked roughly 30 meters away from our location to the top of the hill, where many other colleagues were standing, and I went back to our position," recalls Ghosn, his words painting a vivid image of a landscape soon to be marred by violent conflict.
 
A sudden, ruthless shelling began, with an Israeli missile striking perilously close. Reflexively, "we decided to stop the broadcast," reflects Ghosn, noting their initial reaction was to move the SNG to a safer space, safeguarding their equipment. 

However, the danger of another shell landing on the hill where his colleagues gathered catapulted Ghosn into a scenario that would forever sear itself into his memory.
 
The visceral shock of the moment weighed heavily as he approached the horrific scene. Christina Assi, an AFP reporter, lay critically injured, her hand eerily raised amidst the carnage in a silent, desperate plea. Unable to lift her due to severe leg injuries, Ghosn reassured, "I talked to her, told her, 'Christina, you will live. I will help you,' and dragged her with her vest on the ground to move her away from the fire," his actions colored by a mix of resolve and desperation.
 
Ghosn assuaged Assi’s pain by removing her helmet and camera, keeping her conscious and engaged amidst her agony. His mission to preserve her life continued as she was moved 30 meters to a relatively safer spot.
 
Then, the horror continued to unfold. An unknown colleague, initially perceived as lifeless, was shifted away from the engulfing fire, preserving the body from further harm. Ghosn's narrative pauses when recalling Carmen Joukhadar, an Al Jazeera reporter also engulfed in chaos. A hurried race to the ambulance ensued, with Ghosn insisting both women be taken together, despite paramedics' initial reluctance due to space constraints.
 
Ghosn's recounting somberly concludes with acknowledgment of the colleague he could not aid, Issam Abdallah, his life tragically extinguished amidst the violent embrace of conflict.
 

Lebanon News

Alma al-Shaab

Robert Ghosn

Lifesaving

Christina Assi

Carmen Joukhadar

Israeli

Strikes

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