If you’ve seen the news lately, you’re well aware of the explosion that happened in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on Tuesday August 4th.
The explosion in one of Beirut’s ports shook the city occurred not far from heavily populated areas in the city and many common tourist sites. As the causes of the explosion come to light, so does the damage. Thousands are injured and many are dead, but the people of Lebanon are focused on coming together, cleaning up their home, and fighting for change. How the rest of the world views their pain and has a conversation about the explosion is becoming more and more important by the second.
Hospitals, hotels, and homes have all been affected by the recent explosion. A few videos and pictures have gone viral showing doctors and nurses helping patients using their phone flashlights in tents. As Lebanon continues to face the coronavirus pandemic, and now the damage of the port explosion which can lead to food and supply shortages, it’s important that we understand this could happen to any city in the whole world, not just a city in the Middle East. We can become desensitized to tragedies that happen far away from us, especially when those tragedies happen in countries that have been painted as “dangerous” or “uncivilized.” The reality is, explosions aren’t normal anywhere. We must recognize such if we want to truly see just how critical the situation in Beirut is. And this isn’t to say we should “westernize” the situation. Tragedy is disproportionately distributed in our world, but no person or place is more or less deserving of such.
Once we recognize that the explosion in Beirut was no normal occasion, we can see how dire the situation is. Thousands are left homeless, injured, or without family members and what was once a bustling city is now a city filled with rubble and in need of support. Lebanon is fighting a pandemic, political unrest, inflation, and now must deal with the aftermath of this explosion. Right now, donating to the Lebanese Red Cross is the best way to ensure that your donations are making the most impact. Beirut residents have taken to social media to say that other donation sites run by the government have a history of being unreliable when it comes to helping those in need. Other reliable organizations may include independent groups started by locals calling for supplies such as clothes, mattresses, and food.
The world is going through a tough time but it’s essential that we stay vigilant and don’t become desensitized to tragedies. If you have the means to help, Beirut is in need!