“Even the stones are crying” – Lebanese Canadian talks about devastating explosion in her homeland

“Even the stones are crying” – Lebanese Canadian talks about devastating explosion in her homeland

“My heart is bleeding,” Grace Saba, Lebanese-Canadian

A deadly explosion along Beirut’s harbour has killed more than 100 and injured thousands more. Rescue crews and citizens alike are frantically working to find survivors amid the rubble. People are being asked to wear masks not only because of the fumes and dust, but of course – the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Reports say the main grain silo for all of Lebanon was completely destroyed in the blast, leaving people already struggling economically during the pandemic to afford a loaf of bread.

The Lebanese government has declared a two-week state of emergency, and CBC has reported that the government has also put an, “unspecified number of Beirut port officials under house arrest pending an investigation into how 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate came to be stored at the port for years.”



Lebanese-Canadian Grace Saba was attending her father-in-law’s funeral on-line from Beirut yesterday, “His hip surgery went well, but infection set in, and he passed through the night – his lungs filled with fluid, there was nothing they could do; the doctor’s checked him for COVID, but the tests came back negative – twice,” Ms. Saba said over the telephone.

Grace’s father-in-law, Pastor Bahij Khoury was a popular and beloved minister who studied at the American University of Beirut.

The family was heartbroken as Grace, her husband Danny, their children, and extended families here in Canada and Lebanon finished the memorial – and just a few hours later – the explosion rocked Beirut, “I’m hearing so many mixed messages out of Beirut from friends and family. One of our neighbours where we used to live has a daughter missing – the force of the blast was so severe she was flown from their balcony.”

Grace said she also heard the magnitude of the explosion, caused by a deadly compound known as ammonium nitrate ignited inside an abandon warehouse was so forceful that, “Half of it exploded under the sea or the whole of Beirut would have been destroyed.”

Ms. Saba believes the containers inside the warehouse were illegal, and authorities were trying, “to rid the port of them.”

This picture was taken many kilometers away from the harbour


Grace and her family on a recent trip to Beirut.


Grace says, “I thank God that my father is safe.” Still, she is awaiting word about other friends and family members as details emerge.

This picture shows before and after the blast.

Grace told me, “My faith in the Lord Jesus, and believing that He is in control, continues to sustain me and my home country.”

Lebanon’s Christian population is 40.2%.





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