“The neighborhood will never go back to the way it was before. The Beirut that I know is gone,” says photographer Naji Massoud, a year after the August 4, 2020, blast. Sitting on his balcony, a hundred meters from the silos of the port, he had miraculously escaped death.
Even if in his neighborhood, a large part of the buildings classified as traditional monument are being restored, Naji Massoud knows that nothing will be the same again.
It will take a long time for the city to be rebuilt and many residents have not returned even though their houses have been restored; this is either because they are still traumatized or because they cannot afford to furnish their apartments and equip their kitchens. This goes without counting the people who have lost their lives or who will live forever with the consequences of their injuries.
“Three of my neighbors who lived in this building died during the year in the first few months after the explosion. They were old, they probably died of fatigue and grief. Other people have moved elsewhere and will not return to the neighborhood,” he says.
In his house, renovated with the support of his friends, Naji Massoud keeps hanging on a wall a clock whose hands stopped at 6:07, marking the moment of the explosion.
As an ominous sign, the magnetism of hundreds of clocks that were in the homes of the disaster areas of the capital stopped at that precise moment on August 4, 2020, when the city’s port blew up.
Here’s a link to Naji’s original video story: https://bit.ly/2TF4BgV