The Lebanese people are still mourning the loss of hundreds of lives killed on August 4, 2020, by the Beirut Blast, one of the most horrific tragedies in Lebanon’s history, and the trauma persists.
Parents, children, siblings, relatives, and friends are still in shock. Many lost their loved ones in just a few seconds, and others saw their loved ones die and suffer in front of them for days, weeks, and some for months on end.
Young Elias Khoury was one of those who endured pain for two weeks before passing away.
According to his friends, right after the blast, he texted them on their group chat that he heard a loud sound coming from the port but didn’t know what it was, and that he was scared, as reported by The New York Times.
Then he stopped texting. Two weeks later, he succumbed to his wounds.
Elias’s mother highlighted that he had big dreams and ambitions, as he was “from the type that when he wanted to do something, he would do it […] he would have achieved all his dreams,” she said.
Mireille Khoury also expressed that if Elias was in another country, he would have done wonders and “saved humanity”, or even invented something new in architecture “that would have helped future generations.”
“But unfortunately, Lebanon is a country that kills talents, it doesn’t help them grow,” the grieving mother said.
The Khoury’s family lives changed drastically after the 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate (AN) detonated, as Nour [Elias’ sister], his mother, Mireille, and Elias were severely wounded.
However, Elias didn’t make it. He went into a coma and passed away 14 days later from his injuries.
Elias’ funeral was one of the many stamped by the excruciating grief of the Beirut Blast. People, even those who didn’t know him, cried at the heartbreaking scene of his young friends and classmates carrying his white casket, taking their last walk with him to a final destination not meant for him at this young age.
A scene no parents should go through, a walk no youth should endure.
Since then, his friends have been adamant to keep his memory alive. They have staged many sit-ins.
They launched an Instagram page in his memory which they keep active. They even sent a letter to President Emmanuel Macron pleading for him to push for justice for those injured by the blast.
They worked to realize his dream of becoming a rapper and his music has become available on Anghami by the name A$hca$h, a tribute to his musical talent keeping his memory alive.
Elias was remembered during the official exams during which his classmates missed his presence. He wasn’t forgotten on graduation day. The graduation ceremony honored his memory and his friends paid tribute to him during the ceremony.
Today, there is a scholarly NGO in his name. The Elias Khoury Association was just launched to grant scholarships to underprivileged students, especially those who have Elias’s same dream to specialize in architecture and fine arts.
Immersed by sadness, Elias’ family continues to seek justice along with the many families of the victims of the Beirut Blast.
The Lebanese nation is still wrecked with traumatic mass grief.
Two years later, people are still demanding the minimum that should have been done soon after the explosion: Justice for the horrific tragedy that killed over 234 innocent people, injured thousands, devastated families, shattered homes, destroyed the Lebanese capital, and caused long-lasting trauma.
Justice, a right turned into a nightmarish pursuit.