News & Events


Road Accidents: The Code In The Neck!

Scarlett HADDAD |/ OLJ

On April 4th 2014, Dr. Ouidad Hachem Akar (53 years old) is killed by Dania Mounir Jarmakani (20 years old) who was driving at breakneck speed. The Family of Ouidad has not yet recovered from the emotional and moral loss, but the driver of the car escaped with a fine of 150 million Lebanese Lira, following the judgment delivered on 28/1/2015.

Today, the family protests and claim show trial that is at the height of irresponsibility and reckless drivers, so they can understand that life cannot be compensated by a fine. Killing by accident is also a crime and the family of Ouidad does not want to forget that.
Maya and Dania are of the same generation, but do not know each other. This April 4th 2014, Dania Jarmakani yet deprives Maya from the happiness of saying “mama”. Whose fault is it? The spirit of youth?  Unconscious parents? The failed system of accidents prevention and road safety? In response, there is none, or too many. But they do not prevent the tragedy. This story may seem banal, just a news arousing compassion, a wave of haram pity, no sooner said than forgotten … But it could be that of anyone, that of each of us. 

This April 4, 2014, it is 17:00 p.m. when Ouidad closed her pharmacy in downtown. And since the weather was really nice, she decided to walk home. The weekend looks nice alongside her family. But death was waiting for her. The blow is fatal; Ouidad succumbed to her injuries after four hours of suffering and struggle to stay with his family. When her body was hit by the fireball flew, her life did too, and with it all the hopes of happiness for her and her family. Behind the wheel, a girl aged 20 years old, Dania Jarmakani, life seething, eager for thrills, who wanted to go beyond her limits. When the two paths crossed, there was no return. Life is not fair, it will be said. The day before, Ouidad blew her 53 candles. She was enjoying a healthy life, paced by her working days and her life as a mother. She was a caring and loving woman, very caring for others.

Today, her relatives keep the memories of a woman who is always ready to heal any wound, and it is with pain that they question and seek to understand… in vain. Ouidad was dedicated all her life. For her family, her husband, her children, brothers and sisters, the pain is immense, along with the anger and the revolt. But the family decided to let justice take its course. Dania Jarmakani is arrested and brought before the judge. She acknowledged that she drove at a breakneck speed and that her car climbed on the sidewalk. In all cases, the expert’s report is clear on the responsibility of Dania Mounir Jarmakani in the death of Ouidad Hachem. Despite the indisputable facts and attorneys, the judge invoked mitigating circumstances and alleviated the pain of guilty to a week in jail made during police custody last year and a fine of 150 million Lebanese Liras.
With this judgment, Dania Mounir Jarmakani who killed a woman, officially paid her debt to society. But for the family, the injustice is obvious.
The Akar and Hachem families are in shock. For them, it’s like Ouidad was killed a second time. They had trusted the Lebanese judiciary, but today they are experiencing deep bitterness. They wanted the death of Ouidad to be a lesson. After so many deaths as unfair and unnecessary, that death should have been the start of consciences reawakening. How many lost lives will it take in order to react?
For these families, the money does not matter and it is not the 150 million Lebanese Liras that will compensate them for the loss of a mother, wife and sister. What they would have wanted is that the driver Dania Jarmakani who killed Ouidad be punished by a real prison sentence, which will make her realize the gravity of the act she had done so rashly and think of the lives she has broken.

To her family, Ouidad was priceless support. Being the eldest child of Hachem family, she was like a mother to her siblings as well as her nieces and nephews. All this love, all these hopes, all this support were swept away in seconds by an irresponsible driver who quickly forget the magnitude of the tragedy she has caused for the family, because she considered that her dues towards the society were paid with the compensation payment. The son of Ouidad cannot bear the idea that the life of his mother was so little in the eyes of the Lebanese judiciary. With his father, his uncle Hassan and other family members, he demands a full application of Article 564 of the Penal Code which condemns the one who caused accidental death, that is to say, in a way not premeditated and without intent to cause death, a sentence of six months up to three years in prison. For families Akar and Hachem, it is the only way to put some balm on their wounds as this could serve as an example to all those who drive their cars like crazy and who can afford to pay a fine to compensate the families of the victims of their unconsciousness.

The new Traffic Code does not change the tragedy and the need to give a lesson to speeders. This is why Hachem and Akar appealed, and they hope that the judges will understand its importance for crime victims’ families. A lost life is not weighted in gold. It has its weight in love, and this is irreplaceable. Ouidad’s brother, Hassan, who set up a foundation in honor of his sister, has, however, launched a media campaign to improve the Code and push the judges to be more firm in their judgments on road accidents. There are already so many causes of deaths in this world that it is not necessary to add a new one, due to unconsciousness and lightness.