Opinion Piece

Beirut Explosion: Everlasting Mourning

By Marwa Harb |

4th of August 2020, 6:07pm, Beirut explosion, where time had stopped.

It was just another boring Tuesday, full day at work which is too close to my house, chatting with some clients, preparing some orders, packing and wrapping some gifts. The first day after the “kind of” lock-down and Eid El Adha.

Minutes Before The Explosion

Snoubra Street (in Kraytem) was almost empty, my coffee time has reached it was like 5:50pm, where I prepared my Nescafé, scrolling through the Facebook and checking the new lock-down law, saved the link and sent it to my friend at 6:06. Suddenly I felt like am shaking, few seconds later I saw the door scrambling all over the floor and people screaming and crying and the sky just turned pink.

All I was thinking about is my Mom, alone at home with my cat, what happened to her, but what the hell happened?! Is it an earthquake, war, assassination or what, NO ONE KNOWS!?

Standing over the glasses, citizens bleeding, women crying, cars beeping, checking all the places around, stores with no window, traffic lights not working, police man shouting.

Running over the glasses, hoping not to get hit by a car, seeing my mom running towards me with eyes full of tears. I rarely see my mom crying, those tears stabbed me in my heart. I told her what happened? She told me I don’t even know, all I thought about is you!!

We made a small romantic scene, I was running towards her and she was doing the same, all what we need is a cloud full of rain, but instead we were showered with glass and tears. She told me that the glass balcony door fell over the fan, broke it and broke the table. And my cat, Cherry, she knew seconds before so she ran and hid under the bed- as you know cat instincts.

 

After math of the explosion 

I wish I had those instincts, maybe I could help at least 220 people from dying and 6000+ from getting injured. Yeah, that’s the worst part. It was -as witnesses said- a small fire that led to an explosion . From my point of view, it is not huge, it is x100 bigger, it was a blast, Beirut was erased.  Beirut that was rebuild 7 times due to earthquakes, now it is the 8th time but due to a blast.

Few hours later, when the connection came back, and the shock was taken off, I went home and checked the live coverage. All I saw is dead bodies, people covered with blood, parents crying, kids shouting, buildings collapsing, damn what is going on!!

Man, I survived, am not dead nor injured, but I feel guilty. Even thou I am 24 but inside I felt like a widowed woman who lost her kids, and waiting her death.  Checking the news, crying all over, people asking about their missing families, taking out bodies from the rubble and still I didn’t even know what happened. Then, a flash news showed, nitrate ammonium explosion in the heart of Beirut, in the Port. Where hundreds of thousands of people work there, where plenty of buildings are near, where all our wheat is stored.

 

Port of Beirut – Beirut Explosion

They All Knew!

I don’t want to talk about politics or the circumstances of this explosion , but all I knew was that they all KNEW!!

All the politicians knew, all the party leaders knew, port managers knew, except us the citizens. Which we all paid for it, OUR LIVES, red cross, civil defense, police man, army, international force, nurses, doctors, fathers and mothers, and even kids.

All these were trying to have a decent life, fighting for their own rights, building a new Lebanon, were doomed, for no logical reason.

Firefighters and civil defense volunteers were the first who ran to take off the fire, trying to open the door of warehouse#12- that was cohesive in the early morning-(ironic no?!) but instead they opened  the door to heaven, were they are seeing us from above, smiling and having the decent life that they should get.

The image is stuck in my head, 3 men trying to open the door of hell, that our politicians made. Those 3 men were found after several days, but not as full body, they were found as a hand or leg. Not only them, till now a lot of people are missing, maybe under the rubble or in the sea. We never knew but also our leaders didn’t Because they don’t even care about us, they don’t care about the devastated wife that has been crying for almost 3 weeks, or a daughter who is asking frequently about her dad, or even a mother who has been trying to find a finger,  yes a finger of her child, so she can bury him.

 

A lot of mixed feeling when writing this, a lot of ideas and thoughts are on my mind. I can’t even know what to write or what to describe. All I know is that I am writing this with tears all over the keyboard. Writing this and feeling guilty that I am alive, while an innocent 3 years old girl died, while an old man working to gain an extra 5000 LL died. All I know is I am feeling GUILTY!! Not only me, we all feel guilty, except our government.

Last photo of Beirut firefighters

The Sleeping Government

2 days later, after cleaning and helping and trying to continue, the nightmare has begun, insomnia all over, walking around and seeing all the faces of the missed people looking at you, asking for help, giving you their hand to take them from the rubble, but I can’t … I can’t, all I can do is pray, pray and ask God to help, to erase the tears on the mother’s faces, and trying to give a reasonable answer to a 5-years old girl, asking about her dad. What should I tell her, dear you have an angel above, he will always look after you!!

There was a night, I could not even close my eyes, after our government remembered to look for the lost people, I saw an image of a guy under the rubble, looking at me with sad eyes, asking for help, I closed my phone. I saw him in every corner in my house, I saw him in my room, in my closet, I saw him everywhere!! All I did is held my mom’s dress and cried. I cried and asked why our government can’t help him, why they can’t help those who were alive, and they knew they were alive. Some were calling their parents under the rubble, but they didn’t take a step, and help!! They didn’t do anything; they are just watching us suffering and holding our last breath.

 

A corrupted government, that is fed up from our own blood.

And now after days and days of the blast, nothing new happened, only new dead bodies were found and buried, but not a single one is arrested, no logic or reasonable answer, nothing at all.

Only helpful citizens and NGOs since day 1, doing the job that the government should have done. Helping others, cleaning out leftovers, giving medications, raising funds, distributing food and clothes. They represent the positive side of Lebanon, not those corrupted mafia people.

Wall of Beirut Port

When Hope Was Erased

And what kills me the most, other than the explosion , is the brainwashed people, that still follow those mafia, those criminals.

Saturday 8th of August, I thought it will be the day, the awaited day, that will throw them all in a bag, in a trash bag and fire them up. At least, to help our martyr’s soul above, but instead people were mad, because the politician’s 3D was printed on gallows, they felt ashamed that their politicians are hanged up in a fictional way, but they were not mad because half of the citizen were dead, and half of the country was damaged. Those sick brainwashed people. Those people should be ashamed of themselves.

 

 

8th of August – Following Beirut explosion

Maybe am talking too much, maybe am talking with no sense, but I need to say it all. I need to say that we are living in a farm ruled by a mafia, that have zero dignity, all what concern them is money, and the famous Chair. I don’t know, maybe they will take it with them when they are dead. Maybe we cannot face them in this life, but I am a hundred percent sure, that high above, in the second life, justice will be served. God will punish them. Because the only trusted one is God. But I deeply feel that all those innocent souls that are dead and betrayed are happy above and looking at us, smiling and wishing that this country will somehow, one day will be a better place to live in with dignity. Hopefully!!

 

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