People are hailing a Lebanese man as a national hero after he robbed a Beirut bank to withdraw his own money. 

Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein desperately wanted money to pay for his father’s medical bills. He entered the bank holding a shotgun and a gas canister, threatening the staff that he would light himself on fire if they didn’t allow him to access the  $210,000 stored in his bank account. 

The Times Of Israel

Inside the bank, Hussein held up to 10 people, including staff and customers hostage, in the 7-hour stand-off before he ultimately surrendered himself in exchange for withdrawing some share his own money

Hussein is a 42-year-old food-delivery driver. Reportedly, he even fired a couple of warning shots inside the bank, but nobody was injured.  Defending her husband, Hussein’s wife, Mariam Chehadi, was reported saying that Hussein “did what he had to do.”


For the unversed, Lebanon has been in a deep liquidity crisis since the man-made financial collapse in August 2019. Citizens of Lebanon have lost access to their own money stored in the bank with restrictions on the withdrawal amount.

Apparently, the poverty in Lebanon is multi-dimensional with almost 3 quarters of population living in poverty.

Arabian Business

Hussein’s siege triggered protests outside the Beirut bank, with people calling out the dire state of affairs. 

The video of the hostage situation has also surfaced online.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to it.

Dina Abou Zor, a lawyer with the advocacy group Depositors’ Union, representing Hussein’s family, was present amid the crowd of protestors outside the bank.

What led us to this situation is the state’s failure to resolve this economic crisis and the banks’ and Central Bank’s actions, where people can only retrieve some of their own money as if it’s a weekly allowance. And this has led to people taking matters into their own hands.

-Dina Abou Zor

The protesters, enraged with the withdrawal limitations and the country’s economic crisis, gathered outside the Beirut bank and called Hussein a ‘hero.’