Tags / Beirut
Images relating to the social aftermath of the Beirut port blast
A collection of images taken during the 2020 protests in the Lebanese capitol, Beirut
Protester holding the image of the a little girl killed by Beirut's port blast and demanding those who are responsible to be sent to prison
Chilean rescue team member petting "Flash", a canine that was able to detect life under the rubble of a building destroyed by the Beirut port blast
Protests gather behind a cloud of teargas and beneath a sign that says "Peace From My Heart to Beirut" during clashes that ignited in Beirut to demand the resignation of the government after the horrific explosion in the city's port
Protester sits on a chair, taken from a nearby shop with shattered windows, while watching fellow protesters trying to removes blockades to reach the Lebanese parliament
Old lady taking a nap in her mini-market in Mar Mikhail just a few days after the Beirut's port blast destroyed the windshield of her small shop and got her severely injured
Two Chilean rescue workers looking at a completely destroyed historical building in Beirut after sensing signs of life under the wreckage with life sensors. Building was destroyed after the horrific Beirut port blast.
Stains of blood from a doctor paint the remnants of a ceiling at St. Georges hospital in Mar Mikhail, just a few hundred meters away from the Beirut's port where a horrific blast tore the city apart.
Two protesters holding and lifting their hands during violent clashes that have erupted in Downtown Beirut after the deadly blast that tore the city apart.
Aline,13, and her sister, Aya,5, hide underneath a blanket next to their house in the neighborhood of Karantina, close to the port of Beirut. On November 4th, the first winter storm hit Lebanon, and its heavy rains provoked the collapse of buildings affected by the blast. "I felt it was like the blast happened again," says Aline, after the building next to her house collapsed.
Local and grassroot organizations started restoring some of Beirut's heritage, century old houses that did not survive the blast of August 4th, 2020, as the government did nothing to compensate for the physical loss the city experienced.
Two months after the blast, on October 15, 2020, most of the debris left from the buildings after the blast were not properly disposed off, and left to rot in the middle of Beirut in what used to be a parking lot in a residential area, as the government still issued no solution or plan of action concerning the reconstruction of the city.
On September 3rd, 2020, almost a month after the blast, a team of Chilean rescuers detected signs of carbon dioxide emanating from the debris of a building in Gemmayzeh, a Beirut neighborhood close to the port. After 72 sleepless hours relentlessly spent digging along the Lebanese Civil Defense, they didn't find any bodies.
A couple of weeks after the blast, on August 19th, 2020, volunteers such as Offre Joie, a non-governmental organization, already laid out a plan to rebuild the affected areas, while the government remained silent, without releasing any statement, or plan to help those affected by the blast.
Protesters took the streets of Beirut on August 8th, 2020, to express their anger after the blast and push the current government out of office, but they were met with teargas and live bullets injuring hundreds.
On August 5th, 2020, less than 24 hours after the blast, civilians grabbed a broom, a mask, and took it upon themselves to clean the streets of Beirut and help those affected by the blast, as no governmental entity was present on the ground.
Firefighters spent the night of August 4th putting out the fire, but until the early hours of August 5, 2020, smoke still rose from hangar 12 where the explosion happened, next to Lebanon's wheat silos.
More than 200 died, 6000 were injured and 300,000 were left homeless after the blast, that spared no one, specially people who were close to the port and its main highway and neighborhoods.
On August 4th, 2020, more than 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate blew up in the heart of Beirut's port. The explosion rippled across the city, gutting almost every building, and frosting the streets in window glass, that started to be swept off the streets the same night to allow ambulances and trucks to get to the victims and injured.
A female protesters came all the way from Tripoli to Beirut (90km) to participate in the anti-regime rally that turned into violent clashes right outside the Lebanese parliament. Protesters rained security forces with stones while the latter returned the attack with water canons and teargas grenades.
Protester holding victory sign in front of Lebanese Security Forces whom are firing water via a water canon to ban angry rebels from reaching the Lebanese parliament, on the 118th day of the Lebanese Revolution that erupted on the 17th of October 2019.
Protester holding sign "Hela Ho (based on a chant during the Lebanese Revolution) our bank account is zero" in light of the failed banking system that has seized the accounts of most of its costumers, leaving them to withdraw almost a $100 per month from their bank accounts.
Protester in Beirut protecting other protesters from water coming from a Lebanese Security Forces water canon. Protests erupted on the 118th day of the "Lebanese Revolution" that ignited on the 17th of October 2019.
Female protester holding the Lebanese flag during violent clashes that erupted outside the Lebanese parliament on the 95th day of the Lebanese Revolution. Riot police rained teargas on protesters in order to disperse them away from the parliament's building that had its surrounding streets looking like a war zone.
Protester in Beirut protecting other protesters from water coming from a Lebanese Security Forces water canon. Protests erupted on the 95th day of the "Lebanese Revolution" that ignited on the 17th of October 2019.
Riot Police stand behind teargas canons waiting for the smoke to settle down after bombarding protesters with the rains of these grenades to dismantle a violent protest on the 94th day of the Lebanese Revolution that erupted on the 17th of October.
Riot police trying to defend Al-Helo Police Barrack from angry protesters that threw stones for almost 2 hours straight after violent clashes erupted in demands to free apprehended activists. Several riot police, protesters, and journalists were injured in these violent clashes that took place on the 15th of January 2020.
Traditional Mashrabiya window coverings at the Druze Council in Beirut, home to its clerical authority. Many agree, that the firm belief in reincarnation - which also changed the opinions of sceptics such as Nibal himself - allowed them to fight without the fear of death, and gave closure to families after sudden loss of close ones.
An elderly Druze man sells newspapers in Aley, Mount Lebanon. According to Gerald Russell, who wrote about the Druze, “Going into battle, the Druze would shout: ‘Who wants to sleep in the mother's womb tonight?’”
Bridge on Beirut-Damascus highway. After a death of a Druze, the saying in the community goes - “May the person be reborn to good parents.”
Bridge on Beirut-Damascus railway, shrouded in the passing clouds. Those children who remember violent deaths in previous lives, usually involve sudden accidents, car crashes and most recently, the war.
Bridge connecting Mount Lebanon with the road to Beeka Valley, yet also forming the north-south dividing line between Druze and Christian strongholds, who fought a brief, but bitter civil war in 1860, and again in the late 20th century. Regardless, both areas retain a mix of religions today.
Clouds over Chouf region, on Mount Lebanon, drifting over cedar trees, the symbol of Lebanon. Chouf was the home to Fakhr-Al-Din, the Druze leader in the early 17th century, who managed to carve out a kingdom in the Ottoman empire stretching as far as Palmyra in present-day Syria.
Religion, seen simplistically by many as the underlying cause of the civil war, retains an empowering and omnipresent status among the 18 sects in Lebanon. The statue of Virgin Mary in Dowra, Beirut, sees gifts and occasional prayer from the passing Beirutis, heading into the smoke-clogged, rush-hour streets ahead.
Under pressure from the private sector, mass urban development in the post-war years have almost eliminated public spaces from the urban fabric. Only one public beach remains in Beirut, with a raw sewage pipe running beneath it.
The Druze have continued tracing their multiple lives across Mount Lebanon, which helped the community become fearful fighters against their enemies. “In this life, I am a supporter of the same political party, same as my parents. Throughout my youth, I wanted to fight for the same ideals, and used to think about the joining the war in neighbouring Syria, but with age, this fighting spirit has decreased,” said Nibal.
Valleys in Mount Lebanon carry an air of beauty and mystique, akin to philosophical studies of the Druze faith, centered on monotheism and individual interpretation. Shadi Khalek, Nibal’s friend, recalls asking his Christian teacher at school: “If we were all sons of God, same as Jesus; I do not remember the answer.”
Nibal Khalek stands in the backdrop of the Druze religious house in his village, Majdal Baana. Nibal accepted the influence of the past life in his current decisions, which in a way, guided his choices in the present life. “Maybe that's why my soul wanted to be reborn in this body, to finish what it started,” he said.
More historic heritage was subsequently destroyed in the post-war construction boom, than in the conflict itself - torn down, dumped into the sea, or simply left to stand idly by the motorway.