The Collective Trauma: Personal Anecdotes Remembering the Beirut Blast One Year Later

Published August 4th, 2021 - 06:09 GMT
Lebanese amid the blast rubble in Beirut 
A Lebanese woman sitting amid the blast rubble at her house in Beirut. (AFP)

With heart-wrenching memories, millions of Lebanese and residents of Beirut are still trying to process the distorted memories of the 4th of August 2020. One year on, scenes and sounds of the massive blast that hit the Lebanese capital are triggering a number of emotions, mostly anger at an unchanged reality.

Translation: "I'm one of the people whose house was completely destroyed on the 4th of August. I survived it with a few injuries and carried my more impacted neighbours and friends across the Gemmayze neighbourhood. I can't write anything and I don't want to say anything. The blast reoccurs as soon as I close m eyes. I'm taking to the street tomorrow so I seek revenge from the state."

Commemorating the first anniversary of the darkest day in Lebanon's modern history, many Lebanese people took to social media to talk about the memories they have had since the day near 220 people lost their lives, while more than 6500 people suffered different levels of injuries.

Some social media users described their experiences in the first moments of the blast, expressing feelings of fear and intense shock. Others talked about the pain they felt as the blast tore their windows and injured them.

Moreover, many Lebanese online people shared names and photos of the blast's victims, as they sent condolences messages to their families and loved ones. 

Translation: "I was at the office with my brorther. I've talked about those moments many times but I still manage to miss many details. The office is by Corniche el Mazraa st. and we used to keep the curtains closed to keep it cool. When the shook happened my brother asked me to follow him out of the glass room. We thought it was an earthquake but when we heard the blast I assumed it was an Israeli airstrike."

Translation: "I was at home sitting on a chair while my mom was sitting on the floor. When the house started to shake around my mom held our hands and asked us to stay in the same spot so if we die, we all die together."

Besides the collective trauma appearing in Lebanese tweets and social media posts on this national mourning day, thousands have called for protests across the country and the diaspora, hoping that the country's political elite are pressured to start political and economic reforms as soon as possible, so it guarantees that the Beirut port blast is the first and last in their lifetime.


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