Sign in Beirut reads Beirut died thousands times to come back and live thousands times - Photo by Journalist Eman Hanna/Egypt Today
ـStories series headines
- The hands of the Lebanese people are removing the traces of destruction and composing the saga of the nation’s solidarity with the afflicted families
- Stories from under the rubbles. Pain and resilience on the ruins of the port of Beirut. Statements and shocking accounts of the moments and minutes of hell on the coast of “The Pearl of the East”..
ـ closely monitor the Lebanese reality and live the suffering of a people in a country that represents the meeting point of regional conflicts and international ambitions
- Extensive investigations from the Lebanese street and interviews with the afflicted, the families of the victims of the port explosion, the paramedics, and medical teams
- Field coverage of the Beqaa Plain camps bordering the eastern Syrian border. Touching stories from the heart of the Sabra and Shatila camps. Secrets of the "Ain El-Helweh" camp in southern Lebanon, the camp known as the "most dangerous" in Lebanon…exclusive interviews with teenage mothers
ـThe underground world of the death trade, illegal immigration boats, networks of hidden passages and illegal crossing points for the smuggling of fuel and weapons
ـThe "death ferries mafia" and the testimonies of survivors of the struggle with death in the darkness of the sea
- Health sector crises and the suffering of patients .. The Lebanese complain of neglect and lack of medicines.. field coverage that report the reality of Lebanon's hospitals
ـ An interesting visit to the Corona isolation unit in the largest government hospital in the country.. Stories of healthcare professionals’ championships and moments of holding your breath to save the victims
ـLebanon at the mouth of the economic volcano. An in-depth discussion of the economic crisis and a live account about the daily suffering of the Lebanese people...
ـThe electricity crisis, the secrets of the diesel mafia, suspicious deals made by electricity generating companies and the dollar market in Lebanon
ـThe fact that subsidies will be canceled with catastrophic expectations by the end of 2020
ـThe political scene and behind the scenes of the thorn’s road to Baabda Palace, the difficult labor of the government, and one-on-one interviews with Beirut key politicians and UN officials in Lebanon
ـWe revisit the case of demarcating the land and sea borders. A special coverage from the borders of blood and fire in the Shebaa Farms in southern Lebanon (the stronghold of Hezbollah)
ـAn interestingvisit to the "UNIFIL" forces station in Naqoura ... with audio and video broadcast of their military operations.
Lebanon– 17 Aug 2020: The Lebanese people are removing the traces of destruction and building the saga of the nation’s solidarity with afflicted families. From under the rubble, we see the resilience on Beirut’s streets following the Beirut port explosion. From the Bekaa’ Plain camps bordering the eastern Syrian border to touching stories from the heart of the Sabra and Shatila camps as well as secrets of the notorious "Ain El-Helweh" refugee camp in southern Lebanon, we cover crisis through field trips that monitor the on-the-ground realities.
For along time, Lebanon has been the site of an ongoing economic crisis. The suffering of the Lebanese people is clear in the electricity crisis, the diesel mafia, and the collapsing local currency. Subsidies were slated to be slashed by the end of 2020. We also cover highlights o0f the investigation into the “Beirut-shima” explosion, with interviews from key Lebanese politicians and UN officials.
“Beirut, the Pearl of the East, Beirut ... Rise up from under the rubble like an almond flower in April. Raise from your sorrows... The revolution is born from the womb of sorrows.”..With these timeless verses from the poem of the great poet Nizar Qabbani, which summarize the strength and agony in Beirut over the past 30 years, Magda Al-Rumi sang to Paris of the East, that ancient city mentioned in the letters of Tell el-Amarna in the 15th century BC, and perhaps he did not know in the mind of the “Rumi” that the throats of the Lebanese would one day scream and repeat the same verses, calling on Beirut to literally rise from “under the rubble”.
“The Pearl of the East” transformed within a mere 6 and 7 minutes on August 4, into a city inhabited by destruction, scattered body parts and blood mixed with rubble, turning it into the “Stricken Beirut”, so that the Lebanese begin a new journey of searching for the rights of the victims, and for a homeland that gives them safety and the dignity of life.
Away from the corridors of politics
In Lebanon, crises give rise to crisis. This country, which is unique in its geographical location, has witnessed several sectarian and political models since its independence until today. Despite the cessation of the civil war, another kind of war has begun, based on "quotas", and its two main parties control the state and its policies. What made the Lebanese situation more complicated, until the train of the political scene reached the station of the October 17, 2019 revolution.
On the impact of the scenes circulating of those crises, we decided to closely monitor the Lebanese reality, and live the suffering of a people, due to its excessive struggle with the causes of death in a country that represents the meeting point of regional conflicts and international ambitions, and decided to rip "life" apart while bombarded with neglect and corruption from its politicians.
On a 30-day trip between the eight governorates of Lebanon, starting from the north through Beirut, and reaching the south, we monitored, as documented in film and photography, the tragedies of a country that had become a "land of pain.” We retell touching stories not only of the victims of the explosion, but of the victims of the troubled reality at large. We document the recounts of the survivors of the Death Ferries” and we shed light on the secret world of the illegal immigration mafia, the smuggling crossings of fuel and weapons, and the suffering of patients amidst a health crisis, especially in light of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Citizen complaints were our starting point for discussing the economic situation and the chronic electricity crisis, including the secrets of the diesel mafia and the suspicious deals made by electricity generating companies. Inside the camps, we met Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians, and we conveyed their reality, in addition to special coverage of Ain al-Hilweh camp, which is the "most dangerous camp" in the south, and on the Lebanese borders with the occupied Palestinian territories. We carried out a field tour as part of the coverage of the demarcation of the land and sea borders between Lebanon and Israel.
In Lebanon, the external and internal "political war" is raging, combustible at any moment in the midst of the Lebanese crisis. Words cannot even begin to express the pain of a people who insist on life defying their pain.
Parts of Series
Eps.1: Land of pain-30 days in“Pearl of the East”,“Egypt today“reports on the suffering of the Lebanese after"the hell of the port"
Several days in the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion, “The Pearl of the East” is marred with Lebanese suffering. The perpetrators of the crime are yet to be uncovered, and more than 600,000 children are in need of psychological support and thousands of families homeless in a bitter winter. The disaster scenario continues. The surviving children raise the slogan "We don't want to die." Young Yara dreams of "A night's sleep" and Mona says, glass shreds are on my face. “The livelihood of my orphaned grandchildren is lost,” said elder Ellie.
Eps. 2: Lebanon's Economy on the Brink of Disaster
United Nations official tells "Egypt today": More than 70 thousand people have lost their sources of livelihood. One man says, “The economy is dead, the shelves are empty, and I cannot restock the goods.” And another citizen, “I can’t afford buying milk for my son.”
Eps. 3:Lebanon's health in "intensive care"
The health sector is facing the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, the economic crisis, and the mass emigration of qualified doctors, with patients complaining of drug shortage and neglect. One Citizen told us: "My father waited for his turn in the hospital until he died." According to a leader of Hospitals Syndicate, 85% of services are threatened with suspension, and the situation is catastrophic and leads to collapse if the government does not put in place an urgent rescue plan, although the Ministry of Health vows to improve conditions.
Eps. 4:"Death boats" on the shores of Tripoli
Emigration to the unknown to escape the hell of reality, with the "death" trade of illegal migrants flourishing in the north, and the Commander of the Lebanese Navy says, “immigration increased after the port explosion and we arrested 596 people until November.” Survivors of illegal immigration in "Al-Fayhaa" tell the details of dark hours at the sea, and the mother of one of the victims says: “I want my son’s dead body.”
Eps. 5:Tragedy of refugees in Lebanon between child- mothers, harassment and rape
Refugees in Lebanon is Double crisis ... child mothers, harassment and rape under wraps. A UN official stated tells us: Lebanon bears the largest number of refugees compared to the population..US$ 25 billion are the losses incurred by the Lebanese economy as of 2018 as a result of the Syrian displacement «according to the latest estimates of the International Monetary Fund”.