Adel Al Hellani
Adel Al Hellani holds a placard, seeking help from the public to tide over the problem of unpaid rents. Image Credit: Supplied

Beirut: A Lebanese man and his family have been sleeping in a car for nearly two months after his landlord kicked him out of his flat over $3,600 in unpaid rent.

A house painter by profession, Adel Al Hellani, from Zgharta in northern Lebanon, was asked by his landlord in June 2019 to vacate the house after failing to pay rent for a year and a half.

Born in 1974, the father of three children, Adel was forced to use his rented taxi car as a temporary sleeping place for his wife and kids after being left homeless.

An image of Adel holding a billboard saying ‘I am Lebanese and desperately looking for a job because my children are sleeping in the car’ went viral on Facebook last month.

“I got married in 2010 and I was working a painter. Things were fine. My wife and I were living in a rented flat in Bakhaoun. After the Syrian crisis started, work opportunities dwindled. I barely handled painting projects every couple of months and then it stopped completely. I lost my job and had to rent a taxi car for $17 per day. I worked as a driver to support my family. The transport industry started getting affected negatively and working as a driver became more difficult. Too many drivers and fewer passengers,” Adel told Gulf News.

The 45-year-old painter-turned-driver has three children, Hadi, 8, Aya, 5, and Mustafa who just turned two.

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“Unfortunately, the situation turned dire. The landlord had been supportive and patient and helped me as much as possible. I used to give him a payment every few months. As the unpaid amount reached $3,600, he asked me to leave the house once my children finished school. He allowed me to keep my furniture until I manage to pay his money. We have a friend who welcomes my family to spend the day at her place while I work on the taxi … at night we sleep in the car,” he said.

Adel said two guys saw him holding the billboard before they posted it on Facebook in a humane attempt to help him.

“I am reaching out to good-hearted people for help. I need a job very soon to be able to pay my unpaid rent and return home. I am so desperate that I am even willing to travel abroad if any generous person gets me a good opportunity. Mustafa fell ill two days ago. I couldn’t afford hospitalising him. A pharmacist gave me a medicine that stopped his vomiting and diarrhea,” he told the newspaper.

Adel and his wife are not on good terms with their families to provide them with assistance.