During the event, the renowned artist took a couple of minutes to talk about Lebanon and the woes its people have had to endure.
“The Beirut Port explosion was not the first catastrophe that has affected us,” she said, before talking about the Lebanese people’s suffering during the blockade in World War I and the 15-year Lebanese Civil War.
“At night, we would sleep in bomb shelters. We would pray, and fear and terror would take over,” she said, recounting her experience during the bloody 1975-1990 war.
“But, in the morning, we would wake up, pick up tears, pick up martyrs, sweep the glass, and move on with life.”
She compared this experience to the one that countless people went through during the deadly August 4 explosion that rocked Beirut.
“And yesterday, in the Beirut Port explosion, the same thing repeats: The world explodes; the next day, we pick up tears, we pick up martyrs, and the young men and women fill the streets, sweep the glass that fell on people, killed people, and destroyed people’s homes.”
From there, El-Roumi went on to praise the Lebanese people’s resilience in the face of recurring crises and catastrophes.
“It is odd how this people, no matter how many times it’s slaughtered, stands back up again,” she admired.
“Not one day did despair break its wings. We have the right to sovereignty, freedom, and independence. We are not a people that was created to die; we were created to live, and we are a people that deserves all the medals of freedom.”
After delivering this moving speech about her country, an emotional El-Roumi performed her iconic “Ya Beirut” song, which released her tears as the crowd sang along.
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