Sitting in his reading room, Fadlallah Dagher gestured at a 145-year-old arched window — or what was left of it. At his side lay the remains of the window’s intricate latticework and wood filigree, shattered to pieces by the enormous explosion that rocked Beirut.
As if the rampaging barbarity of COVID-19 wasn’t enough, as if the killer disease’s infinite assaults weren’t enough, the country, led by an irresponsible leadership, had to invite its complete destruction.
Salam Beirut, an international emergency aid campaign launched in the UAE to support the victims of the devastating explosion that struck Port Beirut, has announced an estimated allocation of US$100,000 for the repatriation of migrant workers who are facing increasing hunger and homelessness in the Lebanese capital.
The 160-year-old Sursock palace in Beirut withstood two world wars, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the French mandate and Lebanese independence
Since the explosions, people have crowded into the hardest hit districts to inspect their damaged homes and businesses, or as volunteers in cleanup efforts.
“Salam Beirut” aims to bring relief to the affected populations; whose numbers continue to rise as Lebanese officials pick through the wreckage. The first phase of response will focus on providing medical aid, food and water supplies and shelter to victims, which will be mobilised by Sharjah-based global humanitarian organisation, The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) in coordination with on-ground relief operators in Lebanon.
In a brief televised speech, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Monday that he is taking "a step back” so he can stand with the people "and fight the battle for change alongside them.”
Thousands of demonstrators, some of them brandishing nooses, had descended on the city centre to vent their fury at politicians they blame for Tuesday's explosion, which levelled Beirut port and killed 158 people.
The powerful explosion at Beirut port that devastated nearby neighbourhods was a dreadful accident in-waiting for which the country’s politicians shun blame.