Beirut explosion: Lebanese-Canadian group raises money while grappling with tragedy
Lebanese-Canadians who watched in horror as an explosion levelled part of Beirut are now working to raise funds for hospitals treating the thousands of injured.
The president of the Lebanese Club of Ottawa says he feels powerless on the other side of the world from family members who were injured in Tuesday’s blast.
Ahmad Araji says his first cousin, his wife and their young daughter live in downtown Beirut and were hit by glass that shattered during the explosion.
Beirut explosion: Lebanese journalist says ‘great fear’ in city after massive explosion
He says it’s hard to process the scale of the tragedy, which has killed at least 100.
Onion recall expands across Canada; 17 hospitalizations linked to salmonella
Canadian researchers diagnose cancer in a dinosaur for 1st time
His group has started an online fundraiser that has so far raised more than $3,700 for the Lebanese Red Cross and hospitals overrun by the wounded.
Araji says the group is also trying to raise awareness about the lack of blood supply in Beirut, because encouraging locals to donate is one of the few things they can do from afar.
‘I didn’t want to die’: Wife of Canadian resident recalls moments after Beirut explosion
“There’s so little you can do from abroad,” he said. “And the country has been going through a lot. This is the last thing the people needed right now, especially with the economic crisis, poverty peaking, the currency crash, COVID.”
He said he’s doing whatever he can to be helpful while his mother country grapples with yet another crisis.
“They need money, they need funds, they need help. They need support — moral support, financial support,” Araji said. “We’re trying to do all of that at the same time.”
Deadly explosion rips through downtown Beirut
© 2020 The Canadian Press