We need more people like Ammar in Lebanon.
I am a proud mother of 3. I am a wife, a daughter, a sister. I am a sports addict and I do my best to pass my passion for sports onto my children.
Today, I am a mother who is in shock after what happened to her son on the slopes of Faraya Mzaar. Today, I am a citizen calling for change. Adel is my eldest child, he is 9 years old and has been skiing for 5 years. Like all other parents, we take every single detail in consideration when sending our kids to ski.
Adel wears a helmet to protect himself, he wears 4 layers of clothes to protect him from the wind and cold; but most of all, Adel only skis with my husband & I, or with the official ski school of Faraya Mzaar.
If anything were to happen to him, it would be because he didn’t ski well, or because, God forbid, someone bumped into him on the slopes. At least, this is what we thought.
On Saturday January 26th 2013, Adel was involved in a life-threatening incident that left all the onlookers frozen in shock, and left him traumatized by his ordeal. Adel was on the “Refuge” slope ski lift, on his own. For starters, in no case and under no circumstances should a 9-year old child be ever allowed to ride a ski lift on his own.
As any skier would do, Adel had lowered the safety bar and was waiting to reach the top of the “Refuge” terminal to catch up with the rest of his skiing group – some were in the lifts in front of him, and others (including his instructor) were behind him.
Upon reaching the “Refuge” terminal, Adel was unable to lift the safety bar – the wind was blowing in gusts and was resisting his efforts. He started screaming in panic, hoping the lift controller notices him and stops the ski lift. To Adel’s bad luck, the controller did not stop the ski lift; he either did not pay attention to him!! Or decided to ignore the distress screams and assumed the screaming child would eventually manage to raise the bar.
Right as he arrived to the terminal, Adel eventually pulled the bar upwards…but a strong wind gust slammed the bar violently and made Adel loose his balance and fall off the lift. His 4 layers of clothes got tangled on the foot bar and he was now being dragged along with the lift upwards screaming towards the “Mzaar” slopes..and still, the lifts were going full speed. People were shouting, Adel was screaming… until the ski lift suddenly stopped.
If you’re familiar with this part of the slopes, you probably figured out where Adel was exactly. If you’re not, I will just describe the nightmare in one sentence:
“Adel was now hanging by the tip of his clothes with one of his hands holding on for life and below him was a drop of at least 12 meters”.
The lifts do not reverse; they could not bring him back. The only way was either forwards or downwards.
A helpful man who spotted him (and who we are very grateful to) kept talking to Adel, calming him down guiding him to unmount his skis and throw his poles while he was dangling. Adel, was now effectively hanging for his life.
At this stage, no safety procedures, no emergency response. No rescuers or Red Cross were in sight, and certainly no initiative being taken by anyone employed by Faraya Mzaar.
My son was hanging in mid-air, with 25km/hr winds gusting and with no one equipped enough to save him, no net or anything to ensure a soft landing; but many onlookers standing there in shock and the friendly man who stood helplessly underneath Adel.
In sight of all this, the man beneath asked Adel to try and untangle himself and let go, promising to catch him but Adel wasn’t letting go.
Some minutes later, the drama took another twist when a hero made an appearance to save our son.
One of Faraya Mzaar’s controllers (on his 3rd day on the job) working in the nearby button-lift (tire-fesses) took initiative. He stopped his station and ran across to the ski lifts.
This man, Ammar, reached the nearest pole to Adel’s lift and climbed-up. He then used his bare hands to dangle his body from the cable and made his way across 10 meters to reach Adel’s chair. He pulled Adel back up onto the chair and back to safety.This man saved our son and if it weren’t for him, we cannot imagine what could have happened if he hadn’t. [Link]
i ski since the age of 10 and im 55 now.
I sure this kid must have done something stupid and risked his life. I have kids and I go with them and teach them how to sit and how to be safe.
its not the fault of the kid or kids or faraya mzar BUT the family who accept to put their kids in danger while staying down sipping coffe or a drink. maybe next time send the san3a with him if madame don’t feel watching her kids.
you sure have been skiing for the past 45 years, but that has not made you less of an idiot and downright jackass.
the lady is grateful for someone who saved her son from an accident (you obviously do not believe in accidents) and you are there spewing absurdities at her and your typical coffee and san3a theory.
and Ammar will be this boy’s hero for ever.
55 years old with baby brain experience on life
@ Jack! you deserve all the insults addressed to you! and more.
@ Mother & Adel, Thx God.
@ Ammar, God bless you.
Like everything else in Lebanon… Awaiting a disaster to happen. Accidents happen Mr Jack, it is how authorities respond to it that is in question… Where the hell are the support teams? What a joke and a jackass
And i assume you have your kids strapped to your belt 24/7? do you go with them to school? everywhere? accidents are bound to happen anytime anywhere while your sipping your coffee at work. if accidents are caused by stupidity than your kids should have plenty assuming they inherited yours.
Jack, does even your mom like you?
Adel is a boy’s name???
i’m sure its pronounced 3adel
Why is adel on the way down? It seems like he’s going down on the chairlift and not up as he should be…
First of all hamdella 3a Salemto and he was lucky indeed!
But I disagree with u regarding blaming faraya mzaar only! I used to be a ski instructor for many years, and was licensed by the lebanese ski federation after undergoing extensive training’ and tests done by international committees. Every respectful and professional ski school SHOULD make sure its ski instructors go through this process before handing them any child since it is a great responsibility. What i’m trying to say here is that I believe the accident was first and foremost the instructor’s fault who should have trained your son to take the ski lift alone before allowing him to do so! And assuming your son just got in line before the instructor could stop him, he should have at least notified the person at the ski lift about the problem to inform the other guy at the end to help your son.
This is an unacceptable mistake, and I believe in this case Faraya mzaar should conduct routine training and testing to ANY ski instructor ; not anyone who knows how to ski well is qualified to be a ski instructor especially for young kids
I agree that there should be a “pisteur” at every slope, but that is secondary to the instructor’s role
Every year similar accidents happen and some less fortunate kids have actually fallen off the ski lift and broken their tiny bones because there are “dkekeen ski schools” with amateur ski instructors with only monetary purposes!!!
I guess the first one to blame is the ski school that left a child under 10 ride alone the lift.. Usually the adult ski trainer takes 2 kids sitting next to him and avoids the lifts that can not take the 3 of them together… But this requires higher fees to a trainer for not more than 2 children…Secondly, yes the lifts need more checking and maintenance. I understand perfectly what happened to Adel because the same thing happened to me often there.it was not the winds. The safety bar is in shape of a T and the bottom of this T gets sometimes stuck between the horizontal beams on the bench. When it’s time to pull up we have to try more than once and pull up real hard.. This makes one lose equilibrium.. The light weight of the boy was not equal to his sudden pulling the T bar.. I many times spoke to those who work there abt fixing the beams on the benches , they would not even answer or give attention.. I m glad the boy was saved, and hope this would serve as lesson… To the ski trainers.. And to people in charge of the ski slopes.. And finally to parents who should not send children with huge ski schools. I am sorry Madame.
I have noticed that at 2.45 pm.in January I was trying to sit on the baby seat.. and the working guy who is supposed to stay close to the seat was very far away. so I got afraid and thank god I fell close to it.. this shows the irresponsibility of workers there!
I HATE SKIING 🙂
Under ten my kids never sat on telesiege alone. They were always together with One trainer. One trainer for my two kids only. She used to make make them sit by her side. I payed more but they were safe. I cut out on budget skiing by myself without a trainer. I learned by myself., Today my kids ski better than me. Hehehe, they are 17 and 14 they can teach me better than anyone:)