Hundreds of Lebanese attended a vigil in Montreal, Canada, on August 5th, to grieve with the people back in Lebanon and mourn their devastated capital.
Organized by Meghterbin Mejtemiin, Montreal Branch, the sad event took place in downtown, in Dorchester Square, in the presence of local media reporters.
Our correspondent on the scene reported that a lot of emotions were felt as Lebanese reunited with friends for the first time since the explosion to grieve together.
Many were still in shock. “And of course there was anger,” she stressed.
“Our pain is immeasurable, but our anger is even greater.”
`- Meghterbin Mejtemiin, Montreal
Griefs, prayers, tears in the voices and eyes, people checking on each other’s families in Beirut, some saying they want to go to their families to be with them during the aftermath, and hugs shared with whispers of Hamdallah a3salemeh echoing through the crowd…
The Lebanese in Montreal were devastated.
The mood was heavily somber as candles were lit and songs of Fairouz ‘Li Beirut” (For Beirut) were played.
At one point, the speaker turned her back to the audience and faced the media to address the Canadian government.
Very firmly and eloquently, she specifically requested that the Canadian government does not send any emergency relief funds to the Lebanese government, “known for their corruption”, but to instead send it directly to local NGOs like the Lebanese Red Cross.
“Today, we mourn. Friday, we rage.”
Her message was met with an uproar of applause from the large crowd, clearly demonstrating the deep mistrust of the people towards the Lebanese government.
“Today, we mourn. Friday, we rage,” the organizers said to the heartbroken crowd.
The pain was obviously too heavy for the people to feel the anger wanting to burst out, but it finally did with many shouting the revolution slogan: Kellon, ya3neh Kellon. (All means all).
“Our pain is immeasurable, but our anger is even greater,” the organizers said, pledging to express it in a protest coming Friday, August 7th, in front of the Lebanese consulate.
The “Manifestation against the Lebanese criminal regime,” as they named it, will take place from 11 AM to 2 PM.
Lebanese in Vancouver and in Calgary also held vigils for Beirut explosion’s victims, counting 137 as of date, with three found Wednesday evening under the rubbles in Beirut port. That’s in addition to thousands of wounded and too many still missing.
The Lebanese diaspora is reportedly now mobilizing to lend support and to launch demonstrations in their cities.
It is to note that Canada just announced a $5M in aid to Lebanon and, indeed, it will not go to the Lebanese government but to “trusted partners on the ground” as Canada’s immediate priority is saving lives, as Development Canada tweeted.
The961 Foundation is raising funds for the Lebanese Red Cross to help them in their response to this tragic incident. To donate, click here.