Letters to the Editor, Opinions

An explosion over 7,000 miles away still reverberates at home

We are the diaspora, the ones living away from Lebanon. 

We are far away from our beautiful home, watching the disaster from afar.

On Aug 4, 2020, I woke up to a text message reading “Mariam, is your family alright, there was an explosion in Lebanon at the port, go check on your family.”

 I rushed downstairs to my mother panicking because none of the lines were picking up back home. My grandparents resided in Burj Hammoud, Lebanon, which is close to where the explosion happened. Thank God, there were no injuries or deaths for my family, but a lot of the houses’ glass shattered, and some homes tore down like my grandparent’s home. 

Unfortunately, it was not the same for others, many lost loved ones; so far, there’s been more than 100,000 injuries, 250 deaths and more than 40 are still lost under the rubble. This explosion was not just any explosion, it was rated the third strongest explosion after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This explosion did not only take a toll on the country because it was a huge explosion, but because Lebanon is going through a pandemic, economic crisis, political unrest, corruption, and revolution. 

This was the result of 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that was left at the port for 6 years exploding. There are many theories going around about the explosion, such as people saying it was a strike from Israel, the leaders of the country, or it was the fireworks factory nearby. 

Nobody knows the cause, and the fact that none of the leaders claim that they know, and no one is claiming responsibility about the chemicals, makes the people even more angry. Nonetheless, after a tremendous amount of pressure, Lebanese leaders have started to resign, and most of the neighboring countries and countries worldwide have donated or sent aid to help the people. 

The Lebanese people in God’s will, will recover from the tragedy. We are resilient—Lebanon before this event has fallen 7 times, and it will recover an eighth time. This explosion will remain in our hearts until the grave. 

08/04/2020 “Min Qalbi Salam La Beirut”. 

From my heart all the love to Beirut. 

For aide, the author asks that individuals donate to the Lebanese Red Cross.

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