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Beirut blasts still haunt victims' families

China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-06 09:15
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In this file photo taken on Aug 4, 2020, shows the scene of an explosion at the port in the Lebanese capital Beirut. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIRUT-Two years have passed since Sahar Fares, a Lebanese paramedic, was killed by the huge explosions at the Beirut port, but her fiance, Gilbert Karaan, still cannot believe that he has forever lost the love of his life.

"I try to survive this tragedy by telling myself that Sahar has been on travels and that I will see her again soon," Karaan said on the second anniversary of the blasts that occurred on Aug 4, 2020, killing at least 200 people and wounding more than 6,000 others. "I cannot accept that she has died," the 32-year-old said, with tears in his eyes.

Fares, then 27, was rushing to the port for rescue duties after the first explosion took place, causing huge flames that engulfed a warehouse. Then the second explosion went off, killing the firefighters and medical workers at the site.

Karaan said that, for the past two years, he has tried everything but failed to get over the death of the woman who "still means the world to him."

"I go out and meet with people, but it only makes me feel worse because she is not there with me," he said. "It becomes even worse when I see a happy couple and remember all our beautiful moments together."

For Samia Doughan, time seems to have stopped since she lost her husband, also the father of their twin daughters, in the explosions.

Loved ones lost

"They say that the pain of losing a loved one gets easier with time but this is definitely not my case or that of my daughters. We feel worse about this tragedy, especially when Aug 4 gets closer," said Doughan, whose husband worked at the Beirut Container Terminal Consortium back then.

She can't forget how she felt when she was anxiously looking for her husband at the port while bodies were recovered from the rubble.

"These moments have become imprinted in my mind, and I just can't get over them," Doughan said in a shaky voice.

"It kills me when my daughters later said they envy me for having lived with both my father and mother until I got married," she said.

Similarly, life has not been easy for William Noun, 29, who lost his brother, a firefighter, in the Beirut explosions.

"Although I still wake up every morning, without my brother by my side, it will never be the same again for the rest of my life," Noun said.

Youssef Lahoud, the lawyer who represents around 1,400 victims of the explosions, said that the judicial system is determined to investigate the explosions and reach the complete truth, but more time is needed to achieve this goal.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Thursday reiterated his commitment to achieving justice for the victims.

"I assure the families of the victims that I am committed to achieving justice by revealing the complete truth through an impartial judicial process away from any fraud, discretion or injustice, to hold accountable all those who are involved, because no one is above the law," Aoun said.


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