Brave, strong, and steadfast residents of Beirut have been working around the clock to help one another recover, with many joining them from across Lebanon.
From cleaning the streets to helping rescue teams; from distributing food and essential items to bringing down the government; the people have not caught a break since the explosion.
A week later, the city paused. It paused for a moment to mourn.
August 04th, 2020, at 18:08, Beirut froze in time, its eyes to the worst horror one could ever come face to face. And everything collapsed.
Exactly a week from now, and yet it was like yesterday; a week gone in nightmarish numbness and shock as the Lebanese can’t still believe what happened.
Many say they expect to wake up from the ongoing nightmare… “because this cannot be happening.”
Yet it did. And, exactly a week later, people marched to the Port of Beirut in silence to honor the lives who were lost and gathered for a candlelight vigil.
Church bells rang in harmony with the Islamic call to prayer, while families, friends, and even strangers mourned the loss of many lives.
Sadly, the death toll is only rising as the severely wounded succumb to their injuries from the blast.
“Say their names.”
Would they say them? Are they brave enough, responsible enough, God-fearing enough to say their names and acknowledge what they’ve done to them?
They haven’t even uttered a compassionate word of condolence yet; a week later. As if the people don’t exist, and their lives don’t matter, and their grief doesn’t touch them, and the deaths don’t count.
As if this was a crime like any, not needing any fuss or bothering them in their bubbles, or bringing in an international impartial investigation.
They haven’t assumed responsibility… even of their own positions.
So no wonder that the mourning and sadness of the crowds at the port turned to rage and led them to march to the site of the revolution, the Martyrs Square.
They raged, reminding everyone that the revolution is not over. It’s actually starting with more Lebanese joining in.
The government might have resigned but these were only new elements in the scene of entrenched corruption of a state that proved to care the less about the people.
Rules, laws, and a system built on political sectarianism that only care about their seats.
In a country that is always at risk of greedy powers using it as a proxy for their wars, the Lebanese state never thought to have a system in place in case of a national catastrophe like this one.
There was none when the port exploded half the capital and none of them knew what to do. They abandoned the people to mend on their own.
They went completely lost, dysfunctional as the system is, based solely on politics.
It was as such that two ministers thought to grab grooms to help clean the streets instead of using their positions of authority to start saving people, sheltering them, providing food, and on and on.
The people had to do it.
And it is the people also who are now rebuilding Beirut, voluntarily.