Lebanon 03 Dec 2020 23:16
An earthquake, a black cloud, and a loud explosion: more than 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate shook Beirut to its core on August 4, 2020. The Lebanese capital was never the same after that day. Already paying the consequences of 30 years under the rule of a corrupt government with an unprecedent economic crisis, a worldwide pandemic, the people of Beirut were victims of yet another negligence of their own government after they stored hazardous material which caught fire in Beirut port. More than 200 died, 6,000 were injured and 300,000 were left homeless. The government's response was an awfully loud silence: no one was held accountable, resigned, or even proposed a plan of action or a solution. The Lebanese people were left to themselves. Less than 24 hours after the blast, volunteers were already on the streets with own brooms and shovels, trying to help those who had lost everything. Since that 4th of August, Lebanon hasn't been the same country. After the sadness, the mourning, and the tears, came anger. Protesters took the streets but were met with teargas, rubber bullets, as well as live ammunition. Activists are still fighting to give justice to the victims, while organizations and private initiatives have been on the ground since the first day to rebuild Beirut. But winter is looming, and as much as NGOs can work, they cannot replace a functional governmental institution. While Beirut is trying to get back on its feet, its citizens still have trouble finding a roof above their head, warmth to keep them alive in the midst of a pandemic during a harsh winter, or even some kind of piece of mind at home without the next door building falling apart.