Canada Lebanon: Beirut's heritage highly affected by the disaster

01:25  13 august  2020
01:25  13 august  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

Iran offers assistance to Lebanon after the explosion in Beirut

 Iran offers assistance to Lebanon after the explosion in Beirut LEBANON-SECURITY-EXPLOSION-IRAN: Iran offers assistance to Lebanon after the explosion in Beirut © Reuters / OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL WEBSITE IRAN OFFERS HIS AID TO LEBANON AFTER BEIRUT EXPLOSION DUBAI (Reuters) - The Iranian president on Wednesday offered to send medical aid to Lebanon in the aftermath of the explosion in the port of Beirut which left more than 100 dead and nearly 4,000 injured.

The explosions hit Beirut ’ s northern, industrial waterfront, little more than a mile away from the Grand Serail palace, where Lebanon ’s prime minister is based. If it turned out to be accidental, he said, then the disaster is not particularly surprising, the product of “cumulative nonchalance at all levels.”

Beirut ’ s governor, Marwan Abboud, has said the damage from the port blast has extended over half of the city, with the cost of damage likely above bn. The page was set up by the not-for-profit, Impact Lebanon , which describes itself as a “social incubator for driven Lebanese around the world”.

Une photo prise le 11 août 2020 montre une maison libanaise traditionnelle partiellement détruite dans le quartier de Gemmayzeh à Beyrouth. © PATRICK BAZ / AFP A photo taken on August 11, 2020 shows a traditional Lebanese house partially destroyed in the Gemmayzeh district of Beirut.

The explosion in the port of Beirut, which left at least 171 dead and more than 6,500 injured, also took Beirut's heritage with it. The large bourgeois houses of the Ottoman period of the 19th century suffered greatly since they are located near the port. This whets the appetite of real estate developers who would like to raze them to build buildings.

With our special envoys in Beirut, Pierre Olivier and Julien Boileau

In the middle of the broken trees in the garden, the house of Fadlo Dagher and his daughter Yasmine, is mutilated. Nothing remains of the triple arched windows that pierced its facades.

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Two major explosions shook the Lebanese capital of Beirut , with eyewitness footage capturing the blasts and showing the devastation wreaked in the surrounding area. The office of the Daily Star newspaper was smashed by the blast, with windows blown out and furniture flung to the ground.

Hospitals in Beirut are at capacity. The number of those killed or injured in the explosion continues to climb. Impact Lebanon , a nonprofit, has launched a disaster relief fund for Beirut that will go toward NGOs in Breaking: Massive Explosion near Beirut ’ s Port. Lebanon pic.twitter.com/Hua7igJZxK

"The first thing my father said when he saw the house and the neighborhood is that 15 years of civil war did not do what this explosion did", reports the young woman.

Fadlo Dagher and his daughter are both architects. They estimate that 40% of the Ottoman houses in the neighborhood have been badly affected. Recumbent houses, in the city center, which whet the appetite of real estate developers.

“As you have seen, Beirut is a rather incoherent fabric with very tall buildings placed next to historic structures,” explains Fadlo Dagher. These buildings are not yet protected by law. So today it's almost a godsend I would say for developers and the real estate industry in Beirut what's happening. »

To read also: Port of Beirut: the disaster which is added to the economic wreck

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In the midst of the economic crisis, a sum of money paid in cash is difficult to refuse for some owners with the consequence of the disappearance of a part of the heritage.

"We can compare the disaster that has just happened here in Aleppo on a cultural level, in Mosul, in Yemen now," adds the architect. So, it is a cultural massacre which is happening today in the Arab countries as if we wanted to erase history.

Fadlo Dagher is committed to restoring his home to its original condition, but without any public support few homeowners should be able to follow his initiative.

Read also: In Lebanon, help to repair windows broken by the explosion

Canada adds $25M more to Lebanon aid after deadly Beirut blast for $30M total .
The government has also increased the limit for the Lebanon Matching Fund to $5 million, and urged Canadians to continue donating.The money will be added to the $5 million announced last week, for a total of $30 million in humanitarian and recovery aid.

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