Stories

A Voice in the Dark

On 04 August 2020 an explosion devastated the city of Beirut. Four months on people are still coping with the aftermath of the blast.

“Winter is the only one knocking on my door” – Saad

“Shortly after the explosion, people would come knocking at my door offering me help and my reply has always been the same; God, please yes! But now as the days pass, I realize help is no longer knocking; winter is the only one knocking on my door” said Saad, from his home in Beirut. 

The climb up the stairs to Saad’s door was difficult; the winter rain splashed heavily down the stairwell while our team scrambled up uneven, slippery stairs taking care not to trip over broken tiles. A few moments after we knocked, Saad opened the door into a dimly lit room. He moved slowly around the small space, showing us the two sections of the room, one ceiling lamp lighting the entire space.

Saad points down at his foot wrapped in bandages and said “due to high blood pressure and diabetes I have a severe condition in my foot that I cannot seem to get healed. After the explosion occurred and the building was severely damaged, it was physically impossible for a person in my condition to leave the room. Now with Lebanon’s economic crisis, I haven’t been able to get medications properly”

 “The building stairs take the longest as I have to go really easy and slow. And now, during winter, it becomes more challenging due to the slippery wet surfaces and the cold, so I usually yell out to someone from the building to help bring me down.”

As Saad speaks, water pooled on the floor beside him.  “It’s raining now. The only window I have shattered when the explosion occurred and I haven’t been able to replace it since. I haven’t covered it because I need to be able to breathe”

As part of Medair’s response, steps and handrails are now being installed to ensure Saad can safely leave his home. His window is being replaced in time for winter to protect him from cold and rain. “I am forever grateful for the help you are providing me. For the first time I feel like my voice has been heard. Your presence here has given me hope” said Saad. For him, and others affected by the Beirut blast, a knock on the door from Medair now means help is here to stay.

Please help us knock on more doors like Saad’s in Beirut. To donate now, click here.