Lebanese pop star Nancy Ajram has spoken out for the first time since a masked intruder was shot and killed after breaking into her family home in Beirut.
Ajram’s husband, celebrity dentist Dr Fadi Al Hashem, shot and killed the intruder, who appeared to be armed and was making threats to his family, including his two young children. The intruder, who died at the scene, was later revealed to be Syrian national Mohammed Hassan Al Moussa, 30.
Dr Al Hashem was detained by police over the shooting, but has since been released. Speaking for the first time since the incident, which took place on Sunday, January 5, Ajram asked people to put themselves in her husband’s position.
"First of all, Fadi is a father and a husband, he has responsibilities. He is a human being," she told LBCI Lebanon News. "This is why Fadi, I and our families wished this did not happen, and I would like to offer my condolences for his [the assailant's] family, mother and wife. Of course, we wish this did not happen to us, but this is due to circumstances, any father would respond if his family is touched by a mere speck of dust."
She added that the shooting came after Al Moussa had been making threats with a gun, which was later revealed as fake, for six to seven minutes. “Picture this: an intruder, masked, completely unknown, invading the sanctity of a house, trying to attack the wife and the kids. All men would have reacted like Fadi, especially that [the assailant] is armed, we saw the gun pointed at Fadi’s head.”
Ajram also spoke of the moment the couple realised there was an intruder in the home, after hearing a “racket” in the house. She described how Dr Al Hashem went to investigate, while she hid in the bathroom to call her father. “I was shaking and in an indescribable condition. I hung up and said to myself that if my hands fail me, at least my dad would do something,” she said.
Rumours had been circulating that Al Moussa had been known to the family, and had even worked for them, but Ajram dismissed those claims. She also addressed anti-Syrian sentiment that has arisen as a result of the incident, saying: “If you look back at the history of Fadi and me, we never discriminated based on nationality, colour, faith or anything. We deal with humans as humans and I have been like that all my life. This was a reaction of a father who saw someone he knows nothing about intruding in his house. If the assailant was Lebanese, a relative, from his own flesh and blood, he would have reacted the same way.”
Speaking after the incident, Dr Al Hashem said he “lost his mind” after realising Al Moussa had entered his young daughter’s bedroom. “I ran to him like a kamikaze. I wanted to cut him into pieces. Even if he shot me,” he told MTV. It has been reported that Al Moussa died from 16 bullet wounds.
Ajram also took to Twitter to respond to well wishes from fans. “I would like to thank everyone who asked about the welfare of me and my family. I pray no one goes through the same ordeal. I pray God to keep you and your families away from danger,” she said.