Thanks to all the friends’ writing or calling to know about us in Lebanon after the horrible disaster in Beirut out of the fire and explosion in the Port of Beirut.Thanks to all the friend who start thinking how to help too. Because we are passing in difficult conditions from before. Now it is worse.
I think you all are aware of what has happened in details through the media News, videos and social media etc.
Last Tuesday at 6:10 PM. Just after some minutes of confusion, and fears, the people of the Shatila camp run down from their cement boxes buildings, looking around themselves not believe that they were survived from an Earthquake, the mothers start crying looking for their children to run out of the camp… Some people start saying quickly runaway before the second earthquake comes, then somebody said, it is an Israeli rocket hit Beirut. People start looking around to see if there is smoke, then they say its rocket on Beit Al Wasat, (The Middle House) which is the x-prime minister Saad Al Hariri residence. People received it as worse news. It means civil war.
After 20 minutes the right new reached, it is explosion in the Port. Then the live news on TVs and mobiles start showing what has happened. The size of the catastrophe didn’t come at ones. At the beginning, the concentration was on the port.
Shatila camp is on the other side of Beirut from the port, (5-6 Klm.) with the explosion it start shaking, things fall from the balconies. At the beginning I thought a building or part of it behind CYC has fell. People start calling each other to be sure if they are okay. The telephone net couldn’t bear the calling pressure. My daughter managed to catch the line, she want to be sure about me, I said I am okay in CYC in Shatila. What will happen to me if the explosion in the Port. She was screaming as crying; the doors and windows glasses fell on my mother and me, the building and other buildings people are afraid etc. Our house is next to Cola square lost the glasses, still people are not aware the size of the tragedy, people was concentrating on the spot in the port. The huge fire and destruction is there, so people were running to ask about their relatives and friends who work at the port. The ambulances, Red Cross, civil defense, other medical teams rush to the hospitals. but the reality start getting clearer, that most of Beirut was effected, It is really like an earthquake, or bombed area… specially the close areas to the Port. Then we heard that some houses in Larnaca and some cities in Cyprus were effected by Beirut explosion, even in Jordan they felt the explosion of Beirut.
The number of the victims, dead and injuries start jumping from bellow 20 victims and 150 injured to reach at midnight about 70 Dead and 3500 injured. Yesterday morning it reach more than 100 victims and 4000 injured. today we are talking on 141 martyrs and more than 5000 injures. Still hundreds missing or unknown where they are… Thousands of families lost their houses, shops, cars. The injured were treated in front of the hospital, in the parking, in the reception, 4 big and known hospitals were destroyed or became out of services. Families slept in the streets even with one or more injured. Beirut Hospitals announced that they are full. No ability to receive more patients. Then the injured people were distributed to other cities hospitals in Saida, Tyr, Tripoli, Zahleh and Baalbek, etc.
The PRCS and Palestinian civil defense, medical teams, NGO’s, people provide blood participate with the relief and help. Haifa hospital in Bourj El Barajneh received cases. Even CYC thought to open the Guest House to certain families, but we found it not much practical, and also with Corona circumstances, and the lack of services made us think more about it. Maybe for individual foreigner friends more practical. The municipalities offer their willing to receive families lost their houses. But some people felt afraid to leave their shops or houses which have no doors nor windows to be stolen… so they prefer to stay to protect it.
It is painful, Lebanon wasn’t in need to such catastrophe at all. It is enough the catastrophes it has already, political division among the political gangs. Lebanon is already suffering from Coronavirus, which the cases number is flying too high, (it is between 155 to 223 cases daily. on 5-Aug. the total Corona cases are 5417+ 71 died) The economic and Banks crises, the corruption, the national currency losing its value, unemployment, poverty, immigration. Even though the Lebanese politicians are not cooperating to confront untidily the country misery conditions. The political organizations and allies are against each other and work to defeat each other to please their references outside of Lebanon. That is why each of them is asking the outside help against the other part inside. Never mind if Lebanon die or alive…
While this terrible explosion of 2750 Ton of Ammonium Nitrate left a hall size 210 meter by 42 meter depth, mashed Beirut Port which was the main lifeline for the economy and resources of Lebanon, the economical heart of the capital destroyed or effected, three hundred thousands of people without shelters, beside the 140 victims died maybe the same number will be discovered soon, hundreds are still missing, or under the rubble, more than 5000 injuries, among them 760 injuries in bad conditions among them 247 injures are in very very critical health conditions in the hospitals. 4 hospitals, hotels, companies, restaurants, shops, offices, houses, public serves, cars, properties. Still the politicians who cause all these problems to the country without shame are talking to media to criticize others as if they are innocents. People said; Lucky Beirut, the explosion was at the cost, 2750 Ton if it was in close area, it was enough to destroy Beirut.
The good part is the solidarity among the people, voluntary efforts to help. Helping the injuries, willing to receive families in all areas, all the areas open on each other, youth are removing rubble, and cleaning the houses and streets. The Palestinian and Syrian trying to be helpful with what they can do, contributing blood, helping physically, surviving people under the destructions. Even no body is running to help is thinking or afraid of Corona. Although we are still in weak position to be involve more out of the lack of possibilities, It is huge work and direct needs to people and also to the work teams. The Lebanese people appreciating our involvement, and criticize the politicians use to talk against Palestinian.
On the other hand, already donation and contribution, mostly medical, and emergency, field hospitals start reaching Lebanon, from Greece, France, Qatar, Hungary, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Russia, Emirates, Iran, Jordan and others. The French President Macaroon is coming today to Lebanon to express the solidarity and support.
Of course we have to see if the USA will close eyes without continuing the pressure on Lebanon. It is important the First Aid, Also the emotional part at the beginning, but after what about the rebuilding, and to return the life to normal. Lebanon is in deep economic crises, Bankrupt, the Bankers and politicization stole the people money, the question is it possible the relief and the assistants reach to help Lebanon with import and export out of USA suctions, Caesar decisions in the region. This terrible catastrophe is last what Lebanon can bear, all are talking about investigations, and responsibilities. They want to reach to the truth of who is the responsible within 5 days. Which is nonsense, even if they knew, they will not be allowed or will not be able to punish the big heads during this of State System. Even if there is outside hand behind it (Israel) or who else. Of course it is important to know, if what happened was planned or out of administration careless, or by mistake of workers etc. It is long story…
Maybe it is not the suitable time to talk about such things, because something else more important is going at the moment. So as usual, just thinking of the immediate highest pain. Then new catastrophe come and we forget what before and start thinking about the moment. I think this chronic pain is always there and continuing in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and all the Arabic region and always we have to think how to get relief and donation to help the people to survive, but not to live properly as it should be. Or how to get rid of who is the cause.
Concerning Lebanon for the moment. There are huge of pains, the pains of losing lives, beloved family or friends, pains of injuries, pains of losing houses, properties, jobs or income. Pains of memories and feelings. Pains of this year, the children will not go to schools, or receiving proper health care, pain of people worries which have started before this horrible explosion about their food, living cost which became beyond of the capacities of most of the families, no electricity, water, bread, fuel, no security, the rate of crimes this year increased to double more than the years before.
The concentration should go on how the people who are living in Lebanon, all people, Lebanese and non-Lebanese can live somedays in peace, without fear of tomorrow. To stop the thought, that no solution of future in Lebanon, but to immigrate to who is behind the country historical tragedies.
The relief to Lebanon for people should go on rebuilding, and development, the donors shouldn’t come with ready plans how they want to help and what. But to share the discussion with the local people their point of views. To avoid the usual corruption, especially the Local and International Tragedy Hunters from gaining on the expense of the poor people needs.
The rebuilding Beirut it can be chance to bring the benefit and compensation to the people really, not like Solder Project in Beirut which ended as benefit for few upper class. It can be thousands of jobs, services, improving the social and economic conditions of the country.
Sorry for the long letter, maybe in wrong time. But out of experience to protect the victims right not to be hit twice.
Let us see.
Thank you again, with best wishes of peace and safety to all.
Children & Youth Centre – CYC