In the wake of the devastating explosion in Beirut last week, the country—which has been in a state of crisis for many years—has been even further pummelled.
With young people taking to the streets on Friday in demand of systematic change and an upheaval of the government (who have long-been deemed corrupt), Lebanon is now undergoing multiple crises at the same time.
At the time of publishing, the blast has caused over 158 people to lose their lives, with 6,000 injured and 300,000 homeless – on top of the growing Coronavirus pandemic, limited access to healthcare as well as daily power cuts and a lack of safe drinking water. To put it simply: this is what the BBC has called “the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war”.
Countless Lebanese nationals have taken to Instagram, pleading with the regional and international community to not only amplify what is happening in their country, but to also donate money, food and medical supplies directly to the Lebanese people, rather than to the government, out of fear of confiscation.
In Beirut, Lebanese photographer and editor-in-chief of Cold Cuts magazine Mohamad Abdouni has launched a t-shirt to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon – which is struggling to sustain treatment for the growing number of patients who were transferred there after three major hospitals in Beirut were affected by the explosion. “Sharing this is not enough, please take the extra step, buy a t-shirt, by another for a friend, or go straight to the @ccclebanon rescue fund link in their bio to make a direct donation.” Abdouni wrote in an Instagram post, “Prayers alone will not rebuild our city nor save our people. If you are able to, please take action”.
NYC-based Lebanese-Syrian jewellery designer Kelly Shami—whose fans include Alexa Demie, SZA and countless others—has also dropped a t-shirt for Lebanon. The black tee with a purple illustration is available for worldwide delivery from her brand’s website, along with a matching baseball cap, with all proceeds going to the Lebanese Red Cross. “Lebanon needs our help.” She stated in an Instagram post, “A nation on the brink of collapse needs us more than we know. If you would like to donate any other amount or spread the message, please share the @lebaneseredcross page or download their app.”