The massive sound that caught the people of Beirut in the daily routine of their lives will haunt them forever.
People going on with their daily lives, un-warned, un-alerted, un-expecting… After all, Lebanon wasn’t at war.
Those who made it out alive opened their eyes to hell, yelled to their loved ones in terror, ran around the streets, blood-covered, looking for those who, seconds ago, were at their sides, or had told them they were arriving home…
Those who could stand to rush out had no better view that could tell them they were dreaming; just another angle of hell.
Hospitals, homes, shops, buildings were skeletons, and still crumbling down, and more people covered in ashes running around, some lost in shock, and others screaming for help.
People worldwide couldn’t understand the severe aftermath of this non-nuclear explosion on Beirut. But, some tried to simplify it by showing how the impact of the explosion would look like in different cities worldwide.
Scarily alerting to those cities, yes, but cold. The reality was different, intense, painful, and… with deeply entrenched roots.
Even the pictures and videos that circulated showed but pieces. But there was way more than that. The untold story of Beirut’s people who were just living safely in their routine and that was all gone.
The familiar exchanges of the Lebanese, just seconds earlier, and that now haunt these ravaged family homes…
“Mum, I’m going out… I won’t be late…”
“Come on guys, dinner is ready…”
“Mum I miss you, I’ll pass by to see you after work…”
Voices in the shadows of destruction that speak of people who won’t say them anytime soon, or maybe ever.
Lebanese filmmaker and drone expert Jhony Azeir, an expat living in the UAE, didn’t want to let that dissipate from the collective mind.
He has just brought their haunting voices to life, so to speak, and to the attention of the world, in an emotional drone video of devastated Beirut.
Azeir was in Jbeil (Byblos) when the blast occurred and he felt it over there. “The second day, I went down to Beirut to help the people who were affected by the explosion,” Azeir told The961.
“The scene itself was so touching. I recalled the memories that I had with my friends and family in Beirut… But everything was destroyed in a split of a second.”
“Beirut, as a whole, was destroyed and I thought that the end is near. We will not get back to what Beirut used to be,” was Jhony’s initial reaction when he saw the catastrophe, as he shared with The961.
And yet, like most Lebanese eager to save Beirut, he kept going back to help for 10 consecutive days.
Also like most of the Lebanese today on the ground, Jhony refused to give up on his city. Even though they are all devasted with grief, they are forcing themselves to stand up… for Beirut, for this nation.
We will rise again, no matter what…
“I kept thinking that we will rise again, no matter what… And this is what pushed me to do the video,” Azeir told us, explaining that the audios in the video-drone were recently recorded by his friends and family, reflections of the daily lives of the Lebanese people.
The video will “fly” you over Beirut and in-between its buildings and inside its homes, with voices reflecting what was of life there…