The house's floor still shimmers with shards of glass, no matter how many rounds of sweeping it had underwent. We can't clean properly since we have no water and no electricity, with the generator gracing us barely with its presence for a couple of hours a day.
In Gemmayzeh, where I live, no building was left intact. The explosion - monumental and beautiful for the mere second I was able to look at it - left an impact not imagined by anyone, let alone by the officials who knew of its probability.
I look for words but they're hard to find. I look for tears but they're so repressed I'm wondering when's the day I will burst. Will it be at a coffee shop in about five years? Right now as I'm writing this piece? While reading another article by international media or looking at the devastating photos online?
It took me two days to realize what had in reality happened to Beirut. The first few hours were pure shock at the sight of the explosion - and by first few I mean from 6:08 pm to 4 am; in between was dedicated to cleaning under candlelight. This is the most glass cleaning my ears have ever heard; since August 4 and until this moment, I hear and see nothing but shattered glass. To be slightly more precise, sounds of ambulances, helicopters, and people looking for their pets are part of the symphony. I personally lost my cat for around eight hours after the incident, and then the entire next day; she still hides in unknown places and returns at night. My neighbors found their dog this morning, two days later.
To give you facts is my duty. To tell you that 2,750 tons of Ammonium Nitrate were stored since 2013 at Beirut Port - the main port in Lebanon - exploded in purple and orange smoke is no longer news to you, dear reader. To tell you that we blame the dysfunctional government that's ran by inhumane thieves is also old news.
A mushroom cloud in the capital of the "Switzerland of the East" was unexpected. As people are in disbelief, still perplexed by what happened and how to fix this massive mess, Lebanese politicians beg for foreign aids first, then mourn the lives of the 137 who have died and "wish" speedy recovery to the more than 5,000 injured.
Empty words, evil eyes, shy grins, and extreme greed that knows no bounds.
The Lebanese want to hang nooses; pour their anger, hatred, demolished dreams, and wasted years in the eradication of those who have caused this inexplicable pain.
Words still fail me. The despair felt across the country is one. The hurt and losses we've experienced this week and our entire lives are too deep to be counted.
Is it normal to be afraid of mild wind, covering my head lest the roof or a hanged painting falls over me or my family? Of sounds of closing doors? Of planes flying by?
Many have lost loved ones, limbs, homes, and businesses. People who still have a roof have lost doors and windows, sleeping in their homes and in front of their shops in fear of leaving them to looters.
Should we talk about human rights? We should, but do we have the slightest idea of what they actually are in a country where basic needs have been missing for decades?
Many are yet to recover from the 2006 war between Hizbollah and Israel; from the series of bombings that came before that; from the heavily devaluated currency; from their financial inability to survive, let alone rebuild their lives.
This catastrophe is the doing of negligence and incompetence, two words that best describe the Lebanese government. And where is it, by the way? How come volunteers are taking to the streets to clean and help the injured? How come small businesses are offering their services for free to help fix homes? Where is the government that led us here?
Emotions and thoughts are scattered.
Excuse me for ending this piece abruptly, but my civic duty is calling.
Beirut is not dead, no. It's alive, now more than ever, with anger, disgust, and solidarity. Let's be there for each other first, then go for the useless heads of those who have left us for dead.