The Beirut Port explosion that left the city in turmoil.
No one has recovered yet. It will be futile to assume otherwise. However, the Lebanese are fighting through… with all that is left in them of courage.
On the ground, chaos prevails in the absence of the government and its institutions in a capital wrecked by disasters and grief. The scenes from up close could discourage the bravest and break down the strongest.
Yet, the people, especially the youth, are full-on volunteering to help out at various fronts, there where the state is failing.
If an excuse could be given, one would say the state was certainly unprepared to deal with such a disaster; no system in place in a country too busy with political sectarianism as its top priority.
But neither were the people prepared… nor warned neither equipped. And yet, here they are, rushing at once to deal with the most urgent to help each other in the most effective ways.
Particularly remarkable is the youth of Lebanon, helping with the victims, cleaning the rubbles, collecting in-kind donations, distributing food, cooking for families, repairing inside houses, providing meds and medical assistance, and on and on.
These university students left their education on the side to help their capital heal and rise again. And their contributions are not minimal.
The Lebanese University
The Lebanese University formed the LUTF, an organization that is helping control the Beirut crisis by cleaning the damaged streets and buildings.
The American University of Beirut (AUB)
AUB students are helping Cooking For Beirut, an initiative by ESDU and Food Heritage Foundation, ensuring that over 300 affected families in Beirut receive daily meals.
Moreover, AUB students and graduates are using their expertise for Beirut’s benefit. Those in construction are assessing the damages in Karantina, Geitawi, and Mar Mikhael.
The Lebanese American University (LAU)
Alongside AUB, the students of LAU are helping with data collection, distribution of food and necessities, and cleaning up streets and houses.
They are also volunteering in Spinneys Souks to cook, package, and distribute food.
In addition to that, they launched the “Servants of Society” campaign, formed from students of different majors and expertise to offer help where it is needed in the impacted areas.
Université Saint-Joseph (USJ)
USJ students have been also dedicating their time and energy to philanthropic efforts.
Worth mentioning that students went to check on their campus after the explosion and found it severely ravaged. Without being asked, they looked for brooms and cleaning tools and went tidying up their halls, classrooms, and cafeterias.
Moving forward, USJ students of all faculties united to take action. Under the slogan USJ En Mission, they have been contacting those who lost everything and visiting them, cleaning their places, comforting them, providing food and medicines, and so on.
From their side, the meds students mobilized themselves to provide medical assistance in Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhael, and also donating medicine and emergency kits.
It is indeed overwhelming, pridefully so, how these youth of Lebanon have been so dedicated, effective, and well organized in helping out.
Observing their actions, one could ascertain that Beirut couldn’t have survived this historical tragedy without them.