When the Lions Club in Lebanon decided to organize its annual conference at the Beirut Port, and under the sponsorship of President Michel Aoun, the Lebanese public was infuriated.
The club set up a whole stage, with a sound system, and lights, right where the ammonium nitrate was poorly stored under the noses of Lebanese officials, including Michel Aoun, who knew the danger it posed leading up to the preventable Beirut blast.
The father of 3-year-old Beirut Blast victim Alexandra, Paul Naggear, took to Twitter to call on the Lions Club to cancel its event, saying, “It is still a crime scene as we have had no justice. It is also obscene. 220 people died 9 months ago, and you wanna party there?”
After coming under severe backlash, the Lions Club’s region branch decided to cancel the event and issue a public apology to the families of victims and all those affected by the tragedy.
In an attempt to clarify why it chose to hold the meeting at the port, the club said it wanted to transform its annual meeting into a meeting of solidarity with all those who fell on August 4, 2020.
It said that the event was also to conclude all efforts it carried out in the wake of the blast, such as restoring more than 1,200 homes, 500 institutions, schools, shelters, and hospitals.
It is to note that, until now, no official memorial has been erected for the victims of the Beirut port explosion.