Hazem Kassir (2009 – 2010)
Episodes: 4993 – 5014
Parents: Nira Kassir
Hazem was employed by John Palmer to make alterations to the gym. There he bumped into Leah, who he already knew from when he renovated the Diner. She invited him to the Christmas Party but John wasnt happy to see him there as there was clearly friction between them due to the renovations. They argued about money and the quality of the work and John commented to Leah that he couldn’t be trusted as tradesmen are ‘rip off merchants’. Although, the general feeling was that there was a racist element to John’s views. John and Hazem agreed to talk about it later, leaving Hazem to have a good night dancing with Leah.
In the days following the party, Leah and Hazem grew closer and went out on a date after Hazem’s persistence paid off. At the Surf Club they were having a good time until Hazem and John Palmer had another disagreement and spoiled the date. Instead, Leah and Hazem had dinner at Leah’s house and Leah talked him into standing up for himself so Hazem arranged a building inspection to prove himself. To thank Leah he gave her flowers and arranged a second date. Later on they had a picnic and discussed their cultural differences before going for a walk along the beach.
In the Surf Club, Hazem then had an altercation with drunk yobs, who called him a terrorist due to the backlash caused by the refugees in the hospital. Palmer calmed them down but Hazem later told Leah about it and she thought they should cancel the rally in support of the refugees. However, Ruby and Irene didn’t want it to be cancelled so Leah agreed. Later, when Leah and Hazem were walking along the beach they talked about racism and how Hazem deals with it. Everything was going well until they spotted the yobs from the Surf Club so Leah and Hazem tried to avoid them. Unfortunately they were spotted and the yobs went crazy and started punching and kicking Hazem, who was on the ground by that point. Alf and John came to the rescue and helped Hazem into the Diner but the yobs then set the Diner on fire with everyone in there. Irene and Colleen looked after Hazem until the ambulance finally arrived and took him to hospital. He was diagnosed with a subdural haematoma (bleeding in the brain) and went into emergency surgery. He survived but was later transferred to a city hospital for specialist treatment and intensive rehabilitation.
Hazem’s mother, Nira, kept Leah informed of his condition and despite her asking Leah to visit him, Leah couldn’t bring herself to as she felt guilty about what happened. With Miles’s help, Leah eventually went to see Hazem in hospital. Leah was upset but Hazem reassured her that everything was OK and he understood why she didn’t go and visit him sooner. They talked for a long time about everything and agreed to look to the future and not at the past. Hazem explained about his condition, how his motor function is affected and that he has paralysis down the right side which could be permanent.
Leah met Hazem’s mother at the hospital who said that Leah being there was good for Hazem. She assumed Leah would be staying in the city until Hazem had recovered but Leah was not sure. Later, John Palmer came to visit Hazem which annoyed Leah. However, Hazem told her it was John who saved him from the yobs and they both thanked him for what he did. Hazem later told Leah it was all happening too fast and he didnt want her to turn her life upside down for him. He didnt want Leah to stay with him out of pity and said that now wasn’t the right time for them to be together. He said that once he was better he would come and knock on her door and Leah kissed him goodbye.