Arab Countries That Stood With Lebanon After The Massive Explosion
posted on: Aug 12, 2020
BY: Raneem Ghunaim/ Arab America Contributing Writer Among Arabs, it is an unspoken rule that if one gets harmed in any way, shape, or form, everyone has to help. Their “brothers” and “sisters” pain impacts them just as if they were the ones who were harmed. Being an Arab means every other Arab is your family as well, everyone helps and everyone stands up for one another when needed. Their Arab unity is what keeps them strong and still standing on their feet, despite being attacked and bombed for simply living.
When the devastating news hit the media about the massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, many Arabs and people worldwide were absolutely heartbroken. The videos that were posted about the actual explosion that Lebanese took at that moment left many if not everyone in tears and speechless. This explosion caused at least 170 people killed and 5,000 wounded and many missing. Not to mention the 1,000+ people who lost their homes and those whose family members are now missing. Numbers of deaths and missing people are increasing by the hour, it is a very scary and devastating situation for anyone living in Lebanon, for those who have family in Lebanon, Lebanese in the Diaspora, and for millions of Arabs around the globe.
This explosion took the country by surprise, no one was prepared. However, once the word got out people started to reach out and help. Here are the Arab countries that helped Lebanon during these hard times.
Although Palestine itself is under attack every day, still, the little resources they have, they are managing to share. Also, they organized a group of people to donate blood to the Lebanese injured people. The amount of blood that was donated was not stated in any source, but their act of kindness did not go unnoticed by their Lebanese brothers and sisters. Palestinian civil defense also took part in rescuing survivors on the site of the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
In addition to that Palestinian children marched in Gaza City to show solidarity with the victims of the explosion in Lebanon. A translation of what that little boy sign says, “Palestine and Lebanon have one heart and feel the same wound.” This is how young Arabs are being raised. The idea of unity is heavily embedded in the Arab culture, and at such sensitive time, it is important to put aside different nationalities and see one another as one people, instead of different flags and nationalities.
On Friday, August 7, 2020, Jordanian armed forces finished packing two planes carrying a hospital to serve the wounded in Beirut. These two planes held many medical supplies that would help assist medical staff in Lebanon. To show sincerity, the Royal Hashemite Diwan announced that the Jordanian flag will be lowered the next three days. He did so to show how severe this explosion is. Flags don’t often get lowered unless a real tragedy occurs, like this explosion.
In addition to sending medical aid and showing solidarity, many people took on the streets of Jordan to protest against what is happening in Lebanon. In an act of solidarity, Jordanians protested in support of the victims of Beirut in front of the Lebanon Embassy in Jordan. The sign above translates to: “Our hearts are with the families of the deceased and injured. We are all Beirut.”
When the news reached Kuwait they acted quickly and helped in many different ways. Kuwait’s Red Crescent sent a plane to Beirut with 36 tons of medical aid which contained medicine, wheelchairs, baby milk, and blood bags. According to the World Gulf, “The head of Kuwait’s Red Crescent, Dr. Hilal Al Sayer, said in a statement that the plane carrying the humanitarian and medical aid is an order from His Highness the Deputy Emir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah.”
Aside from sending medical aid to Lebanon, several Kuwaiti organizations, like Heritage Living Society, set up a campaign, “Lebanon is calling;” they raised 100,000 Kuwaiti dinars equalling about 493,058,184.27 Lebanese Lira or LBP. In the first round of donations, they collected about 300,000 Kuwaiti dinars. This campaign was held in hopes of providing urgent relief, medical assistance, food, water, a shelter for those who lost their homes, and treatment for the injured. Finally, the ministry of foreign affairs issued a statement: “Kuwait expresses great sorrow and pain after the huge explosion that occurred yesterday, which led to the killing and wounding of dozens, in addition to huge material losses. Kuwait supports Lebanon and sends its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and wishes for those suffering a speedy recovery.”
Egypt set up a field hospital to help those who were injured. On Wednesday 5, 2020 Egypt’s Ambassador, Yasser Elwi whos in Lebanon, stated that the field hospital in Beirut started receiving many cases. Egypt has been following up closely on the disaster. According to Ahram Online Egypt’s ambassador ” stressed to the Lebanese officials Egyptians’ condolences and deep sorrow for the traumatic incident, assuring Egypt’s solidarity with the brotherly Lebanese people.”
Regardless of the fact that Syria is currently going through its own economic crisis and continuous unrest, still, its people, the Syrian people have opened their homes and hearts to those Lebanese whose homes got destroyed and whose hearts got broken.
Ambulances were also sent to help those who were injured. These acts of kindness, came often from countries that are struggling themselves, Once again, such kindness will never go unnoticed; at the end of the day “we all share the same pain”.
The country of Qatar generously sent mobile hospitals to ease pressure on Lebanon’s medical system. Other than the mobile hospitals, the Qatari air force plane also delivered hundreds of collapsible beds, generators, and sheets in the first of a convoy of flights to Beirut in hopes of covering much of the urgent resources that Beirut needed and still needs.
Similar to the rest of the Gulf countries, the UAE sent aid planes to Beirut carrying 40 tons of relief, medicines, and medical supplies to support those who got affected by the explosion.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that the government has urgently sent humanitarian aid to Lebanon. These supplies were intended to deal with the aftermath of the massive explosion that occurred in Beirut. This assistance was provided through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), the Saudi Press Agency reported a week ago, on Wednesday.
After the heartbreaking news reached Morocco, they rushed to help by sending a total of eight planes from Casablanca to Beirut. Four of these planes were civilian planes and the other four were military. According to Morocco, “….. these planes will transport 295 tons of basic food needs, 10 tons of drugs and 11 tons of medical material and equipment exclusively for the COVID-19.” Not only that, but on Thursday 6, 2020 Morocco also announced that they will be sending emergency aid to Lebanon. The aid that was sent included: food products, first aid drugs, tents, blankets for the injured, and medical equipment to help prevent and protect people from COVID-19. And finally, according to the State News Agency MAP, they stated that ” King Mohammed VI gave his instructions to send emergency medical and humanitarian aid..”
The Algerian government announced that it will be sending aid in four planes and a ship with humanitarian aid, medical teams, firefighters, supplies, and construction materials.
Other than Arab countries reaching and coming together to help Lebanon was Turkey. This non-Arab Middle Eastern country was the first country to send aid, search and rescue teams to find the surviving people.
France sent rescue workers and supplies. In fact, its president visited Lebanon in person to show the support of his country. Armenia’s government provided emergency humanitarian assistance, and Canada sent 5 million dollars to help recover the damage. It has been a few days since the explosion and thankfully, many other countries provided help but not everything made the media, hopefully, in the next few weeks, more counties will come together to help Lebanon.
In the meantime, many Lebanese and non-Lebanese volunteers took on the streets of Lebanon to clean up the mess that the explosion made. Everyone is coming together to clean up and rebuild an even better Lebanon.
We are all hopeful that Lebanon will have a fast recovery; it will go back to how it was before if not ten times better.