• Sandra Elhachem

The Phoenix Will Rise Again: A Tribute to Lebanon

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Lebanon is my motherland. It is the place where my best childhood memories come from. Throughout my life, my family and I would visit Lebanon to see our family and the incredible sights: the beaches along the Mediterranean, the cedar tree forests, the breathtaking crystal caves, and of course the shopping centers. No matter where we explored, the day always concluded with gathering around the table to eat some of the best food in the world.

This is much more than an act of tradition or partaking in culture. It is a symbol of unity and an expression of thankfulness for the life that we have. This is our Lebanon. As of August 4th, 2020, the country has a decimated capital and hurting people. . . that is not the Lebanon I know.

The Lebanese government has failed its people, my people. In 2013, a warehouse at the port of Beirut requested the government to assist in the removal of a shipment delivery of ammonium nitrate. The government's answer? Nothing. Seven years later, the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate has became one of the most massive explosions in history. The catastrophic result of countless missing people, at least 100 deaths, over 300,000 homeless, 4,000 injured, and an obliterated capital all could have been avoided, but the negligence of the past returned with a vengeance.

The government's lack of help and declination of French and German medical aid has exacerbated the issue. Therefore, the people have taken it upon themselves to rise up. Due to no electricity, doctors and nurses resourcefully used their phone lights as they operated on wounded patients. To save three newborns, a nurse carried the babies to another hospital during the blast. People created makeshift bandages when hospitals overflowed with victims and civilians dug through the rubble in search of survivors.

Beirut has faced many destructions in its past, but it has never failed to rebuild, earning its title as the Phoenix City. Just as the phoenix rises out of the ashes, so too will Beirut. The people of Lebanon believe in their country, city, capital, and collective resilience.

Lebanon still needs your support. By sharing this story and/or donating to the Lebanese Red Cross you will be making a difference. Medical and food supplies are in sever shortage and the country is still fighting Covid-19.

By all of us working together . . .

T h e P h o e n i x w i l l R I S E A G A I N.

Original Artwork by: Sandra Elhachem

For more of Sandra's artwork check out: @sandra.creations

The following are photos of Lebanon taken by Sandra Elhachem (2016)

All photos by Sandra Elhachem


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