The chaos, the horror, the apocalypse. The noise, the restlessness and the dust. Sadness, indignation, despair but above all the hope of a new generation committed, determined and united. This is what I discovered during these 4 days in Beirut … This youth is the hope of Lebanon. The worst here can happen at any time, people live by each day like its their last. But when the worst happens, Lebanese people don’t give up!
During 4 days, I met so many people, volunteers, people who lost everything, people who were stunned and moreover extreme kindness and generosity. The Achrafieh 2020 association welcomed me for various missions: cleaning and clearing the fire station near the port, of an old house that had fallen into disrepair, of an insurance company HQ and also of an IT office.
We also took inventory of food and clothing in order to prepare direct distribution to residents.
Click Here for all information and actions carried out by the Achrafieh 2020 association : ICI !
See Akram explain to you is commitment and his daily struggle for more than 10 months in the below video:
I cannot thank Milla enough, my Lebanese friend who runs the international travel agency Travel Club here in Beirut. I met Milla last year in Norway during a FamTrip organized by the company 62Nord. I contacted Milla on Saturday August 8th trying to find a way to arrive to Beirut as early as possible.
She organized everything in less than 24 hours! Once the PCR test was confirmed as negative, I was able to purchase the plane tickets on the Sunday for a departure the next day. Milla found the Achrafieh 2020 association and hosted me for 4 days!! Thank you very much again for everything my friend.
Due to the pandemic, Milla has embarked on a new adventure alongside her best friend Joyce with the very soon uploading of an internet platform named « Lebanese Signature » aiming to promote the best Lebanese products around the world (food, fashion, design, art …). A percentage of the profits will then be donated to various local NGOs.
Mon Plus Beau Voyage will support her project and talk more about it very soon.
What about Akram? This gentleman with a big heart. Since the revolution and the devaluation of the Lebanese pound, he has transformed his antique store into a little boutique of all first necessities and foodstuffs to help the poorest residents. This charismatic man masterfully manages his employees and all volunteers to provide full support and comfort to Beirutis.
During these 4 intense days, I also got to know Ziad, a Lebanese psychologist who came from Paris to see his dad. He was there on August 4. He was due home the day I arrived, August 10. Finally, he extended his stay for 15 more days to help out.
Then I met four young volunteers, students in French just under 20 years old who had returned to their homeland just before quarantine to follow their studies online from Lebanon: Saler, Kim, Andrew and Aya! What courage, you are so beautiful!!! Read below Kim’s testimony. This young activist who is afraid of nothing and lifts cinder blocks with almost one hand!!!! I admire you so much.
As well as all the volunteers whose names I could not remember.
I met Antoine, this gentleman so kind, so generous and benevolent. His basement insurance store did not hold up. All the windows broke. We spent a good part of the afternoon picking up all the pieces of glass. Antoine lived for almost 30 years in France. He returned to Lebanon to be with his family.
All the NGOs, especially the Chrétiens d’Orient whom I met at the fire station on the first day. They were about ten young French people who came at the beginning of July to make their various actions known. It was there in the heart of debris, that we got to know each other. Thank you and bravo for your commitment!