The August 4th Beirut explosion shall not be forgotten 

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27 June 2021

PAX' partner MAAN launches the book ‘Beirut 6:07, Alive Ashes' to remember the victims and push for truth and justice.

The following story is a shortened version of one of the 214 stories in the book. Please read the full version on beirut607.org.

"33 year old Ali was born in Khandaq al Ghamiq in Beirut. At 11 he started working with his father and grandfather in a tire shop. Ali was building himself up his whole life.

He got married three years ago and became the father of little Fadel, aged two years and four months. Ali was full of love and affection for his family, and would passionately take care of them.

On August 4, Ali’s shift was at 2PM. He arrived on time and when the fire erupted he sent live footage to his friends on social media. Soon after, a huge earth shattering blast hit Beirut. His family was shook, as the Khandaq region is fairly close to the port.

They called him, but his phone was off.

On the third day after the blast they received a call telling them a dead body identified as Ali Abbas Ismail arrived to Al Zahraa hospital. They went to the hospital and it was indeed his corpse.

According to the medical examination, he died of a brain hemorrhage and his ears were bleeding. His family received their son’s dead body to say their goodbyes and bury him in his home town Jibchit - Nabatiye."

PAX’ partner MAAN, a socio-justice initiative based in Beirut, launched the book ‘Beirut 6:07, Alive Ashes’, an impressive work, documenting the stories of 214 victims who brutally lost their lives in the explosion that shook Beirut on the afternoon of August 4, 2020, at 6:07 PM. The launch took place in Beirut on the 4th of June 2021, 6:30 local time, during an event organised next to the MTC building, overlooking the port area where the explosion happened.

Commemoration 

The book, written and produced by MAAN, with support of peace organization PAX, is the thorough documentation of the stories, lives and deaths of the 214 people who’ve lost their lives during the explosion. This collection is a commemoration of the victims, aiming to keep their memories alive and to remind and urge decision makers and politicians to bring truth and justice for the sake of the victims and their loved-ones, and for everyone affected by this man-made disaster. It shall not be forgotten that this horrific crime caused more than two hundred deaths, thousands of injuries (physical and psychological), forced thousands of people into homelessness, and caused vast damage to the beloved city Beirut and its historical buildings, cultural heritage, homes, schools, hospitals, healthcare centers, shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. 

Ahmad Mroue, founder of the organisation and long-standing PAX partners shared in his speech in Beirut:

"The writing of the stories in "Alive Ashes", was done with much love: the families' love for losing their loved ones, the journalists’ love for the idea and heartfelt dedication to the story, the partners' love for cooperation and support, and our great love for Beirut and its victims. And because we wrote with such love, we present to you the most decent format: a personal book about the murdered victims so that they would not remain numbers, and so that all the Lebanese would know that those who were murdered on August 4th are human beings with names and faces, dreams and stories that they would have liked to have told themselves rather than us writing about them."

“In the book, there are stories of 204 victims, but there are empty pages for 10 victims whose families did not want their stories to be told, hoping that they will be able to write them in their handwriting one day.

To the families, let me tell you something. We are on your side, and we are behind you and behind all your efforts until we achieve justice. The ashes of loved ones we lost will remain alive despite the noise of everyone who tries to forget this issue.”

PAX and MAAN will continue to collaborate in the next months to advocate for truth and justice to prevail. For more information about the publication of ‘Beirut 6:07, Alive Ashes’ please contact Pim Gerritsen.

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