In the article above, you can read the following:
« For years, Lebanon’s ruling political factions have divvied up positions at the port and handed them out to supporters — as they have ministries, public companies and other facilities nationwide».
February 21, 2014: This is the date of the first warning… That was six years ago! The apocalyptic explosion could have been prevented then. It could have been prevented later as well.
After reading this shocking yet not that surprising article, Bambi checked again on her loved ones (relatives and friends). Some had their stitches changed or removed. Others underwent their first or even second surgeries. A childhood friend walked her first few steps for the first time (just straight, no stairs yet, no shower yet). Yet others sadly lost their lives. She keeps thanking God because her immediate and extended family survived, despite their injuries, their hidden scars, and all the sad destruction of their homes, workplaces, and much needed hospitals.
Thankfully, generous people from within the country and from all over the world rushed to support Beirut citizens.
Thanks to everyone in Canada for their KIND thoughts, prayers, and/or donations.
Many thanks also to Minister François-Philippe Champagne who will be travelling soon all the way to Lebanon.
To end this post on a healing note, here is a beautiful message from Mika, the British singer who has Lebanese roots (see the short video at the end). He is raising funds for Lebanon through his “I love Beirut Concert“, https://www.gofundme.com/f/ilovebeirut).
Here is his earlier moving open letter to the “Lebanese People ‘Devastated by the Apocalypse‘” (as published in the Billboard two weeks ago):
“My dear Lebanon, My dear Beirut,
It’s still early in the morning on the other side of the Mediterranean and I feel so close and yet so far away from you. So close to you, as you lie devastated by the apocalypse, I can’t stop staring, transfixed, at the battered expressions of my brothers and sisters. In their eyes, I sense their fright, their tears. I shudder as I see a wounded person carried out through the rear window of an old car, a young girl covered in blood in her father’s arms, shell-shocked inhabitants running through streets littered with rubble, broken glass and shattered buildings… So far away from you, haunted by the desolation, I hear in my head the deafening noise of the two explosions that haunted the residents of Beirut. The screams of the grieving families and stunned victims merge in the middle of the night with the screeching sirens of ambulances. I’ve also been told of the silence in the early hours of this morning, of the smell of the smoking ruins.
Faced with this chaos, I recall a line from the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran: “one can only reach dawn by taking the path of night.” For some months now, you have once again been sinking into the path of night. There are divisions, echoes of conflicts at your borders, corruption, the powerlessness of your leaders, the monetary crisis which has plunged your families into misery and then the surge of the coronavirus epidemic. The carefree Lebanese nature, the answer to dramas in the past, was replaced by anger and fear. I became more anxious each passing day, as if my wounds, the roots which I’d left behind at the age of only one and a half were finally catching up with me.
And then, suddenly, at 6:10pm on Tuesday, a tragic grey cloud rose up from your port, mowing down your exhausted people. The thick orange smoke drowned the skies of Beirut and replaced the distant memory, so often recounted by my mother, of the yellow light which bathed our fourth-floor, sea-facing apartment on the Corniche. I cannot but think of these two explosions as a symbol of a system which is shattering. The crash of bombs, wreaking death in streets still marked by the scars of war, cannot be unheard. The Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, promises that the persons responsible will “be held accountable.” But those responsible for whom? For what? Those responsible for 30 years of agony which have turned the land of cedars into the land of ashes. It’s said that a catastrophe is a tragic outcome, the end of a series of misfortunes.
After darkness comes the dawn. I know your resilience, your strength and your solidarity, nurtured by your mix of cultures, by this special place you occupy, halfway between the Arab world and Europe. Tomorrow, you will rise up as you have always done before. Music will pour once again from your windows. People will dance on your terraces and perfumes will waft from your kitchens. I will be there.
Thank you Mika!