"The story of Hassan, a 12-year-old street vendor who peddles bundles of herbs and fanciful tales on the streets of Tyre in South Lebanon. Fashioning himself as a war orphan, Hassan’s actual life is far sadder than any of the fictions he would tell passersby to evoke pity. Al-Akhbar queried Loubieh’s mayor Ali Matar who explained that Hassan is the son of a Syrian worker who has been living in the village for many years. The father is married to a local woman and they have a total of five children.
The mother said that Hassan has had a speech impediment since birth. He remained nearly mute until he was eight. Instead of being sent to a special school, Hassan attended the village’s public school where he was bullied and beaten. Hassan stayed close to the streets of Tyre. Often, he did not return to his family’s home, and slept on the pavement. Sometimes, the owner of a small cafeteria would let him stay the night with another boy who sold chewing gum. Last Thursday night, Hassan was struck by a speeding car on the outskirts of Tyre. He suffered from cranial hemorrhaging and had numerous fractures." (thanks Basim)