Hayat, 70, is one of thousands of people who were affected by the blast that damaged parts of their homes. She and her two sons with their families live in Karantina, XX km away from the explosion site. They live on different floors in the same three store-building. At the time of the explosion, she was sitting outside on terrace of the building’s rooftop. 

“I was sitting on our terrace when the first explosion happened. I thought that airplanes were bombing,” says Hayat. “I immediately ran inside to get some of my key documents and my purse when the second explosion happened. It was so loud and it blew me off the ground.” 

“I didn’t know what to do and my first thought was that my sons could not have survived this. Then, I saw my son, Giofar, coming up the stairs calling for me in panic to check if I was okay. The blood was dripping from his head and his body was full of glass shatter,” says Hayat. 

“We have lived in this building for 27 years. I have witnessed all the wars and conflicts in Beirut but never have I seen Beirut so severely damaged as this,” says Hayat. “The scene outside our home looked like a battle field, beyond what you can comprehend. People were running around in panic, bodies on the ground, blood everywhere, buildings falling apart, cars under the rubble and glass shatter all over,” she says.  

“There is a hospital opposite to where we live but it was totally destroyed and we were not able to move to take my son to the hospital. We lost him in the turmoil but a police officer had seen him injured and took him on his Vespa to a hospital about 15 km from where we live,” Hayat explains. “He came back fully stitched but we are lucky he survived,” she says. 

“My other son’s wife was giving birth a few hours before the explosion, she delivered a baby boy. The hospital had to release her after just a few hours just to make space to other people who were heavily injured in the blast,” says Hayat. 

“My grandchildren are all traumatized. They are afraid and can’t sleep during the night. Whenever they hear any loud sound they start screaming and fear another explosion will go off. We are constantly worried that something else will happen,” she says.

“We have a lot of needs now, the windows, curtains, and furniture are all damaged. The glass shatters destroyed everything and the walls have fallen down. My kitchen is not functioning and the water pipes are all broken. We need our homes to be repaired urgently but we can’t afford the repairs,” Hayat says. “We don’t know when we will get assistance but we need everyone’s help to rebuild the streets of Beirut,” she says.  

“When I look at the destruction around us, I can only say we were saved by a miracle,” says Hayat. “In the end all the material damage can be replaced, we can eventually buy new ones but a life can’t be replaced,” she says. 

“Imagine, one of the neighbours in the building next to ours is Syrian. He has been living alone for a while and his family in Syria. A few weeks ago, the situation where his wife and two daughters live in Syria worsened so he brought them here to be in safety and escape the war. But they didn’t escape death, the roof fell over them in the explosion and his wife and two daughters died. If you see him now, it’s like he has gone mad,” she says. 

“My husband died when my children were very young and I raised them as a single mother. I put all my heart and effort to raise them and keep them safe. My biggest fear is to lose them now when they are adults. They are my whole life and if something happens to them I wouldn’t be able to handle it. The situation in country has become unbearable. Our hearts are broken, the people are tired and Lebanon has suffered enough,” Hayat concludes. 

Photo: Racha El Daoi/NRC
Libanon

Eksplosjonen i Beirut: “Det var et mirakel at vi overlevde”

Hayat overlevde eksplosjonen, som la deler av Beirut i ruiner for kort tid siden. En av sønnene hennes ble hardt skadet i eksplosjonen og leiligheten hennes ble ødelagt. Da Flyktninghjelpens ansatte besøkte henne i boligen for å vurdere skadene, fortalte hun oss om den fryktelige opplevelsen.

4. august 2020 ble havnen i Beirut rammet av en voldsom eksplosjon, som førte til omfattende skader i hele hovedstaden. Minst 176 mennesker døde og mer enn 6000 ble skadd. Libanons regjering anslår at eksplosjonene har gjort mer enn 300 000 mennesker hjemløse.

Hayat (70) er en av de mange tusen som ble direkte berørt av eksplosjonen. Hun bor i Karantina-distriktet, som ligger mindre enn én km fra eksplosjonsstedet. Sønnene hennes bor i andre etasjer i den treetasjes bygningen sammen med familiene sine.

Dette er Hayats opplevelse, fortalt med hennes egne ord.

– Vi er heldige at han overlevde

Jeg visste ikke hva jeg skulle gjøre. Min første tanke var at sønnene mine ikke kunne ha overlevd. Så så jeg sønnen min, Giofar, komme opp trappene og ba meg med frykt i stemmen om å sjekke om jeg hadde det bra. Blod dryppet fra hodet hans og kroppen var dekket av glasskår.

Vi har bodd i denne bygningen i 27 år. Jeg opplevd alle krigene og konfliktene, men jeg har aldri sett Beirut så ødelagt. Området utenfor så ut som en slagmark, på en måte du ikke kan forestille deg. Folk løp rundt i panikk, døde mennesker lå på bakken, det var blod overalt, bygninger hadde rast sammen, biler var dekket av bygningsrester og knust glass dekket gatene.

The glass of all the windows were shatterd in Hayat's home in Karantina, one of the most affected areas by the Beirut explosion.

Hayat, 70, is one of thousands of people who were affected by the blast that damaged parts of their homes. She and her two sons with their families live in Karantina, XX km away from the explosion site. They live on different floors in the same three store-building. At the time of the explosion, she was sitting outside on terrace of the building’s rooftop. 

“I was sitting on our terrace when the first explosion happened. I thought that airplanes were bombing,” says Hayat. “I immediately ran inside to get some of my key documents and my purse when the second explosion happened. It was so loud and it blew me off the ground.” 

“I didn’t know what to do and my first thought was that my sons could not have survived this. Then, I saw my son, Giofar, coming up the stairs calling for me in panic to check if I was okay. The blood was dripping from his head and his body was full of glass shatter,” says Hayat. 

“We have lived in this building for 27 years. I have witnessed all the wars and conflicts in Beirut but never have I seen Beirut so severely damaged as this,” says Hayat. “The scene outside our home looked like a battle field, beyond what you can comprehend. People were running around in panic, bodies on the ground, blood everywhere, buildings falling apart, cars under the rubble and glass shatter all over,” she says.  

“There is a hospital opposite to where we live but it was totally destroyed and we were not able to move to take my son to the hospital. We lost him in the turmoil but a police officer had seen him injured and took him on his Vespa to a hospital about 15 km from where we live,” Hayat explains. “He came back fully stitched but we are lucky he survived,” she says. 

“My other son’s wife was giving birth a few hours before the explosion, she delivered a baby boy. The hospital had to release her after just a few hours just to make space to other people who were heavily injured in the blast,” says Hayat. 

“My grandchildren are all traumatized. They are afraid and can’t sleep during the night. Whenever they hear any loud sound they start screaming and fear another explosion will go off. We are constantly worried that something else will happen,” she says.

“We have a lot of needs now, the windows, curtains, and furniture are all damaged. The glass shatters destroyed everything and the walls have fallen down. My kitchen is not functioning and the water pipes are all broken. We need our homes to be repaired urgently but we can’t afford the repairs,” Hayat says. “We don’t know when we will get assistance but we need everyone’s help to rebuild the streets of Beirut,” she says.  

“When I look at the destruction around us, I can only say we were saved by a miracle,” says Hayat. “In the end all the material damage can be replaced, we can eventually buy new ones but a life can’t be replaced,” she says. 

“Imagine, one of the neighbours in the building next to ours is Syrian. He has been living alone for a while and his family in Syria. A few weeks ago, the situation where his wife and two daughters live in Syria worsened so he brought them here to be in safety and escape the war. But they didn’t escape death, the roof fell over them in the explosion and his wife and two daughters died. If you see him now, it’s like he has gone mad,” she says. 

“My husband died when my children were very young and I raised them as a single mother. I put all my heart and effort to raise them and keep them safe. My biggest fear is to lose them now when they are adults. They are my whole life and if something happens to them I wouldn’t be able to handle it. The situation in country has become unbearable. Our hearts are broken, the people are tired and Lebanon has suffered enough,” Hayat concludes. 

Photo: Racha El Daoi/NRC
Les billedteksten Hayat viser oss noen av skadene på leiligheten sin. Vinduene var ødelagte og glasskår dekket mange av møblene. Foto: Racha El Daoi/Flyktninghjelpen

Det er et sykehus på den andre siden av gaten for leiligheten vår, men det ble totalt ødelagt, og vi klarte ikke å få sønnen min til sykehus. Han forsvant for oss i kaoset på gaten, men en politimann hadde sett at han var skadet og tok ham med til et annet sykehus omtrent 15 km fra der vi bor. Da han kom tilbake, hadde de sydd igjen sårene hans. Vi er heldige at han overlevde.

Kona til den andre sønnen min fødte noen timer før eksplosjonen. Hun fikk en liten gutt. Sykehuset måtte sende henne hjem bare noen timer etter fødselen for å frigjøre plass til dem som ble hardt skadet i eksplosjonen.

– De slapp ikke unna døden

Alle barnebarna mine er traumatiserte. De er redde og klarer ikke å sove om natten. Hver gang de hører en høy lyd, begynner de å skrike og frykter at det kommer en ny eksplosjon. Hele tiden er vi bekymret for at noe vil skje.

Når jeg ser på ødeleggelsene rundt oss, kan jeg bare si at vi ble reddet ved et mirakel. Når alt kommer til alt, kan materielle skader erstattes. Vi kan kjøpe nye møbler eller klær, men hvis noen blir skadet eller dør ... kan vi ikke erstatte et liv.

En av naboene i bygningen ved siden av er fra Syria. Han har bodd her alene en god stund, mens resten av familien bodde i Syria. For noen uker siden ble situasjonen i hjembyen deres i Syria forverret, så han tok dem med hit så de kunne unnslippe krigen og være i sikkerhet. Men de slapp ikke unna døden. De ble knust av sammenraste vegger etter eksplosjonen, og kona og to døtre døde. Når du ser ham nå, virker det som om han har blitt gal.

“We have lived in this building for 27 years. I have witnessed all the wars and conflicts in Beirut but never have I seen Beirut so severely damaged as this,” says Hayat. “The scene outside our home looked like a battle field, beyond what you can comprehend. People were running around in panic, bodies on the ground, blood everywhere, buildings falling apart, cars under the rubble and glass shatter all over,” she says.  

“We have a lot of needs now, the windows, curtains, and furniture are all damaged. The glass shatters destroyed everything and the walls have fallen down. My kitchen is not functioning and the water pipes are all broken. We need our homes to be repaired urgently but we can’t afford the repairs,” Hayat says. “We don’t know when we will get assistance but we need everyone’s help to rebuild the streets of Beirut,” she says.  

“When I look at the destruction around us, I can only say we were saved by a miracle,” says Hayat. “In the end all the material damage can be replaced, we can eventually buy new ones but a life can’t be replaced,” she says. 

“Imagine, one of the neighbours in the building next to ours is Syrian. He has been living alone for a while and his family in Syria. A few weeks ago, the situation where his wife and two daughters live in Syria worsened so he brought them here to be in safety and escape the war. But they didn’t escape death, the roof fell over them in the explosion and his wife and two daughters died. If you see him now, it’s like he has gone mad,” she says. 

“My husband died when my children were very young and I raised them as a single mother. I put all my heart and effort to raise them and keep them safe. My biggest fear is to lose them now when they are adults. They are my whole life and if something happens to them I wouldn’t be able to handle it. The situation in country has become unbearable. Our hearts are broken, the people are tired and Lebanon has suffered enough,” Hayat concludes. 

Photo: Racha El Daoi/NRC
Les billedteksten Dette er et av husene ved siden av Hayats leilighet, som ble totalt ødelagt i eksplosjonen i Beirut. Foto: Racha El Daoi/Flyktninghjelpen

– Vi trenger alles hjelp for å gjenoppbygge Beirut

Vi har behov for mye hjelp nå. Vinduer, gardiner og møbler er ødelagt. Det knuste glasset ødela alt, og veggene har falt sammen. Kjøkkenet mitt virker ikke, og vannrørene er ødelagte. Vi er avhengige av at boligene våre raskt blir reparert, men vi har ikke råd til å betale for reparasjonene. Vi vet ikke når vi vil få hjelp, men vi trenger alles hjelp til å gjenoppbygge Beirut.

Noen synes kanskje ikke akkurat dette er så viktig, men sønnene mine og jeg mistet TV-ene våre, og vi har ikke råd til å kjøpe nye. Men det er viktig å ha en TV fordi det er den eneste måten jeg kan følge nyhetene og holde meg oppdatert om hva som skjer i landet.

Mannen min døde da barna mine var veldig små, og jeg oppdro dem som enslig mor. Jeg gjør alt jeg kan for å oppdra dem og sørge for at de er trygge. Min største frykt er at jeg kan miste dem nå når de er voksne. De er alt jeg har, og hvis noe skjer med dem vet jeg ikke hva jeg skulle gjort. Situasjonen i landet vårt har blitt uutholdelig. Vi er helt knuste og hele befolkningen er sliten. Libanon har lidd nok.

Støtt nødhjelpsarbeidet vårt i Beirut

NRC's team assessing the damage in one of the homes in Karantina, one of the most affected areas in the Beirut explosion.

Photo: Racha El Daoi/NRC
Les billedteksten Raed Sawalha vurderer skadene i leiligheten til Hayats nest eldste sønn for å avgjøre hvordan Flyktninghjelpen kan bistå gjennom nødhjelpsarbeidet vårt. Foto: Racha El Daoi/Flyktninghjelpen