John Paul II Foundation / Magazine / After emergency, Beirut tries to be reborn: Samira's story

After emergency, Beirut tries to be reborn: Samira's story

Samira is a lovely 85-year-old lady; she currently lives with her son Amin, who unfortunately has been unemployed and looking for a job for more than a year. Recent times have been really hard for Samira: she lost two children after the explosion within only three months and her house has been deeply damaged, some walls are destroyed as well as most of the furniture.

Samira lives her grief and mourning in solitude, she who was a very lively lady and her house always full of friends and relatives. Today her financial, moral and psychological situation is dramatic, partly because of the forced isolation due to the coronavirus. As soon as we heard her story, we immediately took action to support her, thanks to Bishop C├ęsar and the youth of the Apostolic Vicariate: we call her every other day to hear how she is doing, we help her by offering her food and basic necessities, and as soon as we can we go to comfort her. Our visits always please her because as she once told us, "thanks to you I am able to let off steam and time no longer runs so slow when you are with me."

Even in the most difficult times, the Christian community of Beirut is close to its most fragile brothers and sisters, because if everything is lost, there is only one thing we cannot afford to lose: hope. A hope that is created in encounter, that comes from not feeling alone. This is why a center will be born in Beirut to stay in touch with people and continue to help them: it will be called "Crossing together," a project born from the minds and hearts of the young people of the Apostolic Vicariate and the student associations of the University of Beirut, to say loudly that only together can we overcome difficulties, thanks to help, listening and mutual support.

Crossing Together means let's go beyond, together, a wish but above all a cry for help, that of the people of Beirut, which can no longer go unheard. The project involves the construction of a community center that will be built in the Rmeil neighborhood, one of the hardest hit by the blast, on the premises of a former supermarket that was destroyed in the disaster. The center will be the focal point for 300 struggling families, more than 1,000 people, living in the neighborhood.

The project is supported by the John Paul II Foundation and promoted by the Apostolic Vicariate of Latinos in Beirut in collaboration with Design Impact Lab and Design for Community.

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