Yara Doumit on her experience at the Beirut explosion
A brief history
Around the evening of August 4th, 2020, a fire burst out at the Port of Beirut Warehouse 12. It would be best to mention that this warehouse was created adjacent to the grain elevator and on the running water side. In that grain elevator, 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate was stored. The substance was kept for six years after being confiscated from Rhosus.
The stored ammonium nitrate was forced to dock in Beirut after the ship Rhosus had some technical problems at sea. The Lebanese authorities impounded the ship after it failed to pay port fees, and the cargo was stored in the warehouse after being unloaded from the port.
According to the witnessing eye
The stored ammonium nitrate exploded on the deck, resulting in the most horrifying and destructed blast the country of Lebanon has ever witnessed.
Yara Doumit was watching a movie with her friends at the time of the explosion in Monot, Ashrafieh, Beirut, which is situated only five minutes away. After hearing the explosion Yara and her friends ran down ten floors to face a broken and shattered Beirut.
“It was the worst sound you could ever hear in your entire life,” says Doumit, “Everyone thought it was happening within their building. We thought it was either terrorism or an earthquake.”
In a panic, they waited no more and ran the ten-flight stairs in the building to the street. What they saw on the road was the heart-wrenching reality of what caused the explosion left behind.
“Everyone around us was covered in blood. The street was covered in shattered glass. No one was thinking about COVID anymore. My friends and I weren’t injured, so we immediately started driving hurt people to the hospital.”
“For a month straight, we didn’t sleep. We just kept helping those in need near the affected areas of Mar Mikhayel and Gemmayzeh, blocking windows with paper and aluminum because insurance companies were broke from the financial crisis and couldn’t help.”
“Because we were helping, we could see which areas needed certain things more. I was just thankful that my family only had material destructions. I was able to provide help for other people, so that’s all I did, The feeling of reward that I got from being able to help rebuild the city is enough.”