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.
“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.