Some Leftover Sentiments

Vicky Saade

It has been two years already; everything is still blurry, unclear, imprecise, and certainly we have not reached justice for those victims. You all know what the topic of the article is just by reading those few words. The 4th of August left a deep heartache in every single person considering himself or herself part of this country, Lebanon.

‘What is one thing you lost after August 4th?’ they asked. I replied with: ‘saying goodbye.’

Saying goodbye is no longer a normal saying or act I say or do when someone is leaving. We say goodbye for many reasons and in a variety of ways. Some goodbyes are heartfelt and full of emotion, such as when we say goodbye to a dying loved one where we know that something is ending and it’s just the way we should cope and send off that certain someone. But after August 4th, “see you soon, goodbye, talk to you later” and other goodbyes have no precise meaning for me whatsoever. It’s like yes, we’ll talk later but when? Am I really going to get to see you soon? Is it really a ‘good’ bye? That ‘au revoir’ does it have a certain place and time? All these thoughts haunt me within seconds before saying goodbye to someone. That’s what I lost after the blast; I lost the ability to properly focus when saying my goodbyes.

How do you feel? I feel privileged; all I can sense or feel is the guilt of being alive. Every person living in Lebanon should feel privileged that they survived such a thing. What would have I done if I lost someone I cared about, one of my colleagues, one of my close friends, one of my cousins, or even worse my mom, my dad, or my brother.

What about the victims now? Who were they? How old were they? What was their personality like? How did they spend their day? Aren’t we curious enough to ask about a bit of everything?
What about their parents? Can you put yourself in their shoes? Sleeping every single night not knowing why a family member died? How could they have said their last goodbye? Thinking regularly about how they could get revenge in a country where even basic human rights are not obtained.

How can death be the consequence of mismanagement, chaos and all kinds of corruption in a country? How is it still possible for people to die because of multiple shortages in all key sectors of a country? Medicine shortage, water shortage and power cuts are one of the possible reasons of why one would die today in Lebanon. Normal right?

Who would think about the blast after these traumatizing daily struggles?

From the victims we all talked about, to people who were not even mentioned in public records. Shameful to say, but the data collected by official bodies remains disappointing in terms of follow-up and reliable information, even months after the explosion. If it had been enough, then Aram Tersarkissian's dead body would not be kept in the morgue of Machghara Governmental Hospital for more than six months, before it was honorably buried on February 17, 2021. Three other corpses remain in the same hospital, waiting on a glimpse of humanity.

Yes, the Lebanese people have many more problems to deal with at the moment, but it just feels like all things related to the blast are simple, becoming part of the things that us Lebanese try to deny because it is just how things work in this country. We are getting used to things that are not even normal. Is it normal? Is it normal that after experiencing one of the world’s most harmful blasts, to forget it like it never happened? Yes, we are taking care of all damages but what about justice? What about justice to all those victims?

We should talk, explain, look deep into every single detail that could lead to some kind of truth about this day. We should shed light on this crime that all lights are being dimmed on at the moment. Will we, Lebanese people, do something about it? Or is it just another traumatizing experience that Lebanese people have to go through?