The Names & Faces of The Victims of The Beirut Explosion

Look at their faces.

Say their names.

Think of their grieving mothers and fathers, their fatherless or motherless sons and daughters, their partner-less wives and husbands.

And be angry.

These are victims. These are people whose only fault was to be in a country whose criminals are in charge, whose politicians are so evil they don’t care about any of their lives.

Look at the names that are still unknown, whose families are still looking for them, hoping for life, and be angry.

Their death was preventable. Their lives getting cut short this way was not inevitable. The government must pay for its crimes.

1 Alexandra Najjar (3 years old)

2 Abdel Kader Bloso 

3 Abdo Tanious Ata 

4 Ahmad Mohammad Ameira 

5 Ahmad Ibrahim Kaadan 

6 Ali Abdo Ayoub 

7 Ali Hussein Zeineddine 

8 Ali Ismail El Sayed Chahata 

9 Amina Salim Karbik 

10 Antoine El Barmaki 

11 Aram Sarkisian 

12 Arlet Meglangit 

13 Armand Tayan 

14 Asmahan Miled Faroukh 

15 Ayman Homsi 

16 Ayman Ibrahim Jasem Al Eid 

17 Ayman Mostapha 

18 Ayman Obeid 

19 Ayman Sleiman 

20 Baby-Linn Serohijos 

21 Boulous Gemayel 

22 Chacke Sadek 

23 Charbel Mata 

24 Charles Hapokian 

25 Krystel el Adm

26 Cilda Kino 

27 Claudia Khalil Lakkis 

28 Delia Boghos Guedikian 

29 Ezek Oheir 

30 Fadi Hussein 

31 Fadi Naim 

32 Fares Kiwan 

33 Farouk Al Sallou 

34 Fawzi Kalailet 

35 Feryal Al Kiki

36 Fida Khoury 

37 Gaia Fadoulian 

38 George Pierro Demiani 

39 George Saad 

40 George Salim Al Wez 

41 Georges Madi 

42 Georges Farjallah Daibes 

43 Gretta Attallah 

44 Hamad Medhat Al Attar 

45 Hanna George Akkbani 

46 Haoulo Ahmad Abbas 

47 Hassan Chames 

48 Hassan Kamel 

49 Hassan Maneh 

50 Housam Batal 

51 Ibrahim Amin 

52 Issam Hany 

53 Issam Khalaf 

54 Iyad Zeid Al Amin 

55 Izabelleh Machaalani 

56 Jack Bazikian 

57 Jackeline Gebrine  

58 Jacuqes Gemayel 

59 Jad Gergeh Al Dahdah 

60 Jean Fredric Alaw 

61 Jessica Bezdijian 

62 Jessy Kahwaji Daoud 

63 Jihad Antoine Saade 

64 Joe Haddad 

65 Joe Akiki 

66 John Koubli 

67 Jolbab Sajed Ali 

68 Joseph Roukoz 

69 Josephine Abi Zeid 

70 Joud Hajj Mostapha 

71 Kaissar Merhej 

72 Kassem Youssef Al Mawla

73 Katia Shamesdinne 

74 Khaldiye Saaid Bakri 

75 Khaled Wahoud 

76 Khalil Badih Aoun Mjais 

77 Latifa Moustapha 

78 Laurette Owaida Richa 

79 Layla Metre Khoury 

80 Lina Abo Hamdan 

81 Lina Najjar 

82 Liza kezbekyan 

83 Mahmoud Ali Saiid  

84 Mahmoud Hussein Khaled 

85 Majida Kassab 

86 Margot Tabbal 

87 Maria Pia Emanuel Abo Sleiman 

88 Mariam Hochar 

89 Marie Saad 

90 Mary Farhat  

91 Mary Khalil Touk 

92 Mazen Raja Zouheid 

93 Mehdy Hassan Rami 

94 Michel Kanaan 

95 Mireille Germanos 

96 Mizan

97 Mohamad Ahmad Alaedine 

98 Mohamad Ayrout 

99 Mohamad Hasan Al Sibaai 

100 Mohamad Mahmoud 

101 Mohammad Al Hussein 

102 Mohammad Alaa Din Damaj 

103 Mohammad Ali Abbas 

104 Mohammad Nour Doughan 

105 Nawal Atieh 

106 Nawal Hamdan 

107 Nazar Nazarian 

108 Neamathallah Antoine Mekheiber 

109 Nicol Majid Helo

110 Nicolas Youssif Chedid 

111 Paulette Hashem 

112 Perlita Mendoza 

113 Rawan Misto 

114 Rezol Mounir Sekder 

115 Robert Youssef Semaan 

116 Rushi Jamal 

117 Sabah Merhej Merhej Nassour 

118 Sahar Fares 

119 Samir Boulous Karam 

120 Sr. Sophie Khosrafian 

121 Taha Tsouni 

122 Tanios Mekhayel El Murr 

123 Therese Merhi Antoun 

124 Unknow Lady 

125 Unknown Bangladeshi Haroun Hospital الهوية مجهولة

126 Unknown Unknown Al Rasoul Hospital الهوية مجهولة

127 Unknown Unknown Al Rasoul Hospital الهوية مجهولة

128 Unknown Unknown AUBMC الهوية مجهولة

129 Unknown Bangladeshi AUBMC الهوية مجهولة

130 Unknown Bangladeshi AUBMC الهوية مجهولة

131 Unknown Unknown Sibline Governmental Hospital الهوية مجهولة

132 Unknown Unknown Mashaghara Governmental Hospital عدد من أشلاء 

133 Unknown Unknown Al Zahraa Hospital الهوية مجهولة

134 Unknown Unknown Al Zahraa Hospital الهوية مجهولة

135 Unknown Unknown Al Zahraa Hospital الهوية مجهولة

136 Unknown Unknown Al Zahraa Hospital عدد من أشلاء

137 Unknown Unknown RHUH Governmental Hospital عدد من أشلاء

138 Unknown Lebanese Khoury Hospital الهوية مجهولة

139 Unknown Female Unknown Makassed Hospital الهوية مجهولة

140 Unknown Female Unknown Mashaghara Governmental Hospital الهوية مجهولة

141 Unknown Male Lebanese Hotel Diew Hospital الهوية مجهولة

142 Unknown Male Lebanese Hotel Diew Hospital الهوية مجهولة

143 Unknown Male Unknown Mashaghara Governmental Hospital الهوية مجهولة

144 Warijan Oghos Tassonian 

145 William Azar 

146 Wissam Faisal

147 Yehya Azam Hamwi Lebanese RHUH Governmental Hospital

148 Youssef Saleh Lebanese Rizk – LAU Hospital

149 Yvette Gergi 

150 Zeina Chamoun 

151 Zeina Zakkour 

152 Ziad Mostafa Al Sobh

153 Ayman Noureddine

154 Abdel Halim El Ali Salem

155 Jean Marc Bonfils

156 Zeina Ramzi Ragi

157 Youssef Abdallah Lahoud

158 Joseph Merhi

159 Cyril Canaan

160 Jihad Omar

The list was compiled by Stop Cultural Terrorism in Lebanon, and will be updated progressively.

The Lebanese Government Is Blocking International Aid, Rescue Teams, & Arresting Journalists. Pass It On

I don’t know where to even start.

I wanted to write about how Joe Akiki’s mom broke my heart. How Sahar Fares’ funeral tore me to pieces. How little Alexandra’s face, next to her glass, as they announced that she passed was so full of life, gone too soon.

But I am still angry. And right now, I’m even angrier.

The blog may have been retired for a while. But today, I want to use whatever reach it has left to say one message: The Lebanese government is killing us. Right now. Blocking aid, blocking rescue teams, arresting journalists.

You don’t believe me? Well, here’s a French medical team saying they were ready to head to Lebanon tomorrow when they were notified by the Lebanese government they were no longer needed:

This is a Dutch rescue team talking about the difficulties and hurdles they were handed by the Lebanese government:

It took them THREE WHOLE DAYS to search for Joe Akiki and his colleagues. THREE WHOLE DAYS. I want to ask why. But I know why… because they’re incompetent, rotten, corrupt, illegitimate murderers…. will the gallows be enough?

If Joe Akiki had been their son, would they have waited three days? If Alexandra was their daughter, would they have blocked aid? Our government lives in la la land, devoid of any overlap with the people it supposedly governs… Our deaths do not affect their lives. They don’t care.

Journalists are also blocked from entering the site of the explosion. What are they hiding? Are they hiding how their criminal negligence killed Beirut? How their years of corruption caused such non-inevitable suffering? Are they trying to cover up all the ways they killed us?

I don’t know what else to say. For now, the world must now what the Lebanese government is doing. Pass it on.

The Beirut Explosion Wasn’t An Attack, And That Makes It So Much Worse

I was at my office, having just seen a couple patients in clinic, when my friend Elia texts me: “there’s been an explosion at the Beirut port, check on your family.”

I had seen pictures of it on Twitter, affixed to the speculation that it was fireworks related. I didn’t think much of it until I saw a video in which a mushroom cloud ballooned over the port’s hangars, and expanded, taking everything in its wake. In the space of less than thirty seconds, the city where I grew up was essentially no more.

I was lucky to have been able to get in touch with my family right away. They were physically safe, but I wasn’t too sure about their mental state. My brother was in a daze. The apartment where my grandparents lived, where my father and all his siblings grew up, in the heart of Achrafieh, was completely destroyed. The dressoir that stored a lot of our family’s possessions lay broken. Not even the civil war had scraped it, as its battles raged outside those very same windows that now lay on the floor, shattered, like the collective nation in which they existed.

Lebanon has broken me, and many others, so many times. But what I saw out of Beirut was something else.

Saint George Hospital, the place that turned me a doctor, was destroyed and lay in rubbles. My brother, a medical student there, ran to help his colleagues attend to the wounded. He described a scene out of a Grey’s Anatomy finale, because Hollywood drama is the closest we have to compare things to, and that’s coming from a country that’s survived terrorist attacks and a civil war.

He and my other colleagues told me stories about the worst day of their lives as doctors, as bodies lay on the ground, as wounded crammed the streets outside a now non-functional emergency room, being attended to on the asphalt, as a nurse cradled three newborns all at once, in an office whose windows were now dust on the floor. They told me about how they were themselves bleeding and didn’t notice, how some of their colleagues were also injured, and some had passed.

But that was the fate of the entire city, and the country as a whole. It wasn’t just one neighborhood, one building, one street. Every building in Beirut was damaged. Every family was affected. Every neighborhood was shattered. Every single life was broken, some gone forever.

Our parents lived the civil war. Some of our grandparents had lived through the great famine where most of the Lebanese population had died. We lived through Syrian and Israeli occupation, a plethora of terrorist bombings and Israeli wars. Still, we persevered. Resilient is what they called us, but resiliency is no more. The fate of the Lebanese is, it seems, to forever exist on soaking up the trans-generational collective trauma that now plagues our lives as Lebanese citizens. “I will never forget that explosion until I die,” is what my brother told me. The sentiment was shared by every person that I knew, and I believe it. The videos are ingrained in my memory, and I had seen them off an iPhone screen, thousands of miles away.

Today, I am helpless. As an expat, so far from home at a time like this, whose childhood home lay in ruins in a city he once called home, unable to help beyond the measly dollars to donate in the hopes of atonement. I am helpless to see my friends and family in so much despair, at a situation beyond their control. Because COVID-19 wasn’t enough. Because a free-falling currency wasn’t enough. Because rotten chicken wasn’t enough. Because no running electricity and water were not enough. Because life in Lebanon, in all of its joie de vivre hell, was not enough.

Today, I’m also angry. I’m not angry at the notion that “if this had happened in a Western capital, the outcry would have been so much worse.” I don’t even have the bandwidth to wrap my head around what if’s. This happened, this is real, this is tangible, this happened to people we know, to a city we all lived in, to streets whose pavement we all walked on.

I am angry because of that mother who went on television to describe her son’s sweet face and hazel eyes only to realize he was gone moments later, his obituary affixed to her crying face in a picture that cannot leave my mind. Is the fate of our mothers to always be crying, either in hospitals, television screens or airports?

I am angry because nurses whose only fault was them doing their job at at the hospital where I trained are now dead, their only fault being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, as is the fate of so many others of my country-men.

I am angry because that’s the only emotion I can process today. It took the government five whole hours to issue a statement on an explosion that decimated the only city in the country they cared about. Five whole fucking hours of silence, of conspiracy theories ravaging Twitter and WhatsApp, of our firefighter and Red Cross heroes risking their lives to save people at the site of the explosion and around, as hospitals were flooded with injured folks they couldn’t treat, as people were found dead on the street, as parents wept, and as expats mourned. Five whole hours of silence culminated in a statement that was worth garbage, telling us they were going to investigate, when we all know it was their fault.

I am angry to see those videos of parents hiding their children under cabinet, of windows exploding on little boys and girls whose only fault was be curious at the smoke coming out of the seaside of their city.

I am angry because Donald Trump went on TV, in one of his many COVID-19 briefings, in the same day after he called 1000+ Americans dying daily of COVID-19 “it is what it is,” to tell the world he thought the Beirut explosion was a bomb, when all signs point it isn’t. I’m angry the leader of the free world, if you can even call him that, fans the flame for conspiracy theories just because he felt like it.

I am angry because 2800 fucking tonnes of ammonium nitrate lay in a hangar at the Beirut port since 2014, untouched, inappropriately managed, improperly handled, illegally maintained, and incompetently not attended to, until they blew up and took a whole city with them.

I am angry because the government fucking knew about the explosives, the head of the port knew about the chemicals, they knew how dangerous they could be, and like everything else that they do, they disregarded it and moved on, in their collective circle jerks of corruption.

I am angry because the president’s response the following day was to read a speech written by someone else, off a dell laptop. I’m angry because the only worry that our politicians have is about their careers and nothing else. I’m angry because I get to be angry at watching my home explode in front of my eyes, and those responsible have still not resigned.

What happened in Beirut was not terrorism, it was criminal negligence. And that makes it so much worse, because what happened was preventable. All the lives lost, all the homes destroyed, all the streets that are now unrecognizable could have gone about their day on August 5th, 2020, worrying about COVID-19 and a depreciating currency, as it was on August 4th before 6PM their time. Instead, we mourn.

What happened in Beirut was not terrorism. If it had been, the explosion as difficult as it was, would have been a little more palatable, something beyond our control, something we couldn’t do anything about, something that we couldn’t have prevented even if we tried. But this didn’t need to happen.

Every single life that was lost, body that was injured, building that was damaged is on our government and entire political body for gambling our lives and livelihood away with their unfathomable incompetence, unmatched negligence, and grotesque carelessness. They kill us every single day, with their corruption that’s ruined the economy, with their lack of leadership and oversight that’s affected every single aspect of our lives in Lebanon. They killed us yesterday when they conveniently forgot about chemicals that exploded with the force of the strongest explosion the world has seen since Hiroshima.

You should be angry too. I don’t give a shit about their so-called investigations, we know who’s responsible. They are, every single one of them. Their incompetence was abstract for so long, but that is no more: it’s now tangible. You can see it in a destroyed city. They destroyed Beirut, it’s on them. We deserve more than what we are given in politicians who are telling us now is not the time to be angry, but to pray. Fuck their prayers, their laments, their crocodile tears. I can pray and be angry at the same time.

This was preventable. Say it again and again until you’re angry too. Also, if you can, donate to the Lebanese Red Cross using their app.

Lebanon Protests: The Need For Change Doesn’t End With Hariri Resigning

Via Art Of Thawra

It took 13 days of the entire country being paralyzed for Lebanon’s politician to budge. In a statement in which he decried that “no one is above their country,” Saad Hariri – our now (former?) prime minister issued his resignation.

His resignation comes today to the background of plenty of Hezbollah and Amal thugs storming the downtown Beirut area, beating up protesters, women, reports, breaking down equipment, and the tents those protesters were using to demand basic human rights.

If anything, Hariri’s resignation can’t be more timely: he is resigning from leading a country he was not able to govern, as exemplified by our own security forces standing helpless as those goons came down on peaceful protests, bolstered by their impenetrable political shield.

But let’s not forget that this isn’t just about Hariri, or Bassil, or Aoun, or Berri, or any other politician who hasn’t been at the forefront of the protest chants. Kellon ye3ne Kellon means that Hariri’s resignation should be one of many, and it should be a wake up call for us that building the country we deserve doesn’t stop when someone resigns.

In 2005, the massive protests after the assassination of Rafic Hariri led to the resignation of the prime minister. A lot of people were satisfied with that development, and it was surely triumphant. But as the subsequent decade has shown us, it was not enough.

Hariri resigning is not enough.

Our politicians are symptoms of a syndrome. This syndrome is the sectarian rule of law that has enabled them to persist as parasites, leeching off the people from whom they’ve sucked all the will to survive.

It is not a surprise that, nowadays, criticizing Hariri – to many – feels as if you’re criticizing Sunnis. It is not a surprise that many think criticizing Hezbollah and Amal is akin to criticizing the foundation of Lebanese Shiism. It not a surprise that criticizing Aoun or Bassil or Geagea feels to a lot of people as if you’re attacking Lebanese Christianity.

This is because those politicians have been able to use our sectarian divides as walls that they’ve erected around their halos, in order to perpetuate the illusion of their sanctity, in order to let us think they are untouchable.

The mere notion of some politicians being red lines that should not be crossed in this country, or in any democracy, is a no-go. They should all be open for criticism, impeachment and – most importantly – removal from office.

But that will never happen if we continue to prioritize sect over country. If me, a Lebanese Maronite, will forever be clinging to my Maronitism as the scope with which I view my citizenry, then Lebanon will never be able to become a country that can inhabit all of its people. The same thing applies for people of other sects.

This means that moving forward, Hariri’s resignation is not enough to instill the change we need. Gebran Bassil becoming a “former” minister is not enough, despite how catchy his chants can be. Moving forward, cute chants of “mabsoutaaa3” are not enough to move this country forward.

What we need is a drastic overhaul of the Lebanese system that enables its citizens to be equal in the eye of a common law, not by the law of their respective sects. What we need is a for an electoral law that is not tailored to our current politicians or people who are like them, to enable different faces with the same bullshit to be brought back to office.

What we need is to start concrete steps towards the de-sectarianization of this country so that – in 10, 20 or 30 years from now – we can get to a place where a Lebanese citizen would not introduce themselves by how they pray.

Until then, I congratulate all of the protestors on this first much-needed ounce of change, and hopefully it is the bellwether of more change to come.

Lebanon Protests: It’s Too Late To Believe Any of These Politicians’ Promises

(Picture via Anis Tabet).

Nata2 badri, as my mom would say.

72 hours have come and gone. Aoun, Berri and Hariri have finally come out of their weekend long slumber to unveil their country saving plan… and they think we’re actually going to believe them this time.

The plan that Hariri unveiled today is offensive to every single Lebanese who had to suffer through their corruption for years. This so-called plan is an insult to the intelligence of the millions who have been starved over the years, and who were protesting in the streets over the last 4 days.

It’s ridiculous that it took millions of us protesting across the world for them to *finally* succumb and cut down on their salaries, on their benefits, on long standing black holes that siphoned public funds into their pockets.

What Hariri and the rest of Lebanon’s ruling class believe is that they can continue to fool people with the same empty promises they’ve given for years. If it was *this* easy for them to enact these changes, why hadn’t they enacted them months ago when they were scrambling to come up with a budget for a country that functioned without one for decades?

It’s because they’ve taken our silence for granted. It’s because they assumed they can do whatever they wanted to this people and get away with it. But that stops now.

No Mr. Hariri, your empty promises don’t fly here. Just look at workers at Future TV and Saudi Ogeh were promised for years, none of which was ever fulfilled.

No, these empty reforms don’t address the root of the problem which is that these same politicians who have failed to reform anything for decades cannot suddenly see the light and decide to enact much needed change.

No, switching one way for these politicians to steal money to programs called Elinor and Elissar is not reform. This is just another name for theft.

It’s too little too late for empty statements masquerading under the guise of change to be effective. We should be better than to believe such empty words.

I really hope that years of lies are enough to have us believe that more lies can never be truths.

Stay tuned, Lebanon. The revolution continues.