Story of Nassim

Lebanon

I am 21 years old and living in Lebanon. I live in Beirut, and I was here at the time of the so-called ‘Beirut Blast’. I am part of a big family, there’s six of us. I have my mum and dad, and then three siblings. I am currently studying hospitality and I love to play football.


At the time of the blast I was at work, a normal working day. I work in Dunes, Verdun, which is a restaurant. Everything was fine, and then all of a sudden the ground started to shake and a massive explosion happened. All the glass around us shattered and we all got badly injured. All my co-workers and I were in complete shock and the customers started crying and ran out because everyone was so scared. At that time, we were not aware of what had happened. People started to gossip about what had actually happened and a lot of rumours were made. Two hours later, we found out about what happened and that it was a blast at the Port.


Verdun is about 15 minutes car ride away from where the blast happened. Physically, I was injured. Psychologically, I was in shock. Still, I am suffering from PTSD. It was the worst day of my life. I can’t work normally the same way I used to work. We have another branch facing the port. My friend, who was in Mar Mikhail (the other branch), died because of the explosion. A lot of my colleagues were injured too, and some also died too.


There is still a lot of the damage left. The government have done absolutely nothing at all to repair the city and help us. We have had no repayment from the government. Even when we have had to stay at home, we have not been paid for the work and our pay at work is still low. They have not cared and taken no responsibility for what happened. People have taken matters into their hands and have been repairing the damage themselves.


*name changed

Story of Nassim