Sahar Mourad

Travel Trouble

Two years on since the Beirut port explosion

Two years on since the Beirut port explosion

It’s been two years since the devastating port explosion that rocked Lebanon and saw the country slowly become even more poor. 

The terrifying explosion killed 218 people, wounded 7,000 and damaged 77,000 apartments, displacing more than 300,000 people in the already struggling country. 

Covid was well underway with hospitals already under pressure, but the explosion saw them suddenly overflowing with injured citizens desperate for help. 

People are saying that the country’s stay-at-home orders saved lives which would have otherwise seen hundreds of thousands on the roads, at work and at the beach near the exploded port.

But two years on and the residents are still struggling through the worst economic crisis in 30 years.

Electricity runs for an hour a day unless you have a deal with electricity companies, there is also no running water, no bread, no gas, and much more. 

And it’s only expected to get worse in winter when temperatures plummet and families struggle to keep their loved ones, particularly the elderly, warm. 

Even putting food on the table has become more difficult with grocery prices soaring exponentially – almost 10 times what they were back in 2019. Families are being forced to ration and even resort to basics. 

There have been several protests calling for an end to the widespread corruption and tax increases.

Will the politicians listen? Probably not, as this has been a long-running issue for Lebanon. 

Despite all this heartache, Lebanon remains the Paris of the Middle East and is likened to a phoenix, a mythical bird that is born again from the ashes of its predecessor.

But what can we do to help Lebanon? Go and visit. 

Lebanon’s economy continues to rely on tourism and is a stunning summer/spring destination.

Travellers will be in awe at the beauty of the Middle Eastern country which is constantly bringing Aussie tourists in.

From its capital city Beirut, to Byblos in the seaside of the north of the country, Tyre, also known as Sour (pronounced soor), Harissa and many more it is certainly the place to be. 

It comes as the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism launched a tourism campaign to bring in Lebanese expats to come to the country during the 2022 summer season. 

The campaign was dubbed “Ahla Bha Talle,” in reference to a song by late and prominent Lebanese singer Sabah.

So in reference to that TikTok video “Yallah come to Lebanon habibi” (Come to Lebanon my love). 

Images: Twitter