On a normal Tuesday morning, I woke up and went about my day, unaware of the life-changing events that awaited me. My involvement in Lebanon's ongoing revolution turned my simple hobby of photography into a trusted role as a photojournalist. Little did I know that fate would lead me to the Ministry of Energy and Water, where I would witness one of the most devastating moments in Lebanon's recent history.
The Occupation of the Ministry:
At 12:45 pm, I arrived at the Ministry, where the riot police were violently clashing with protestors. Amidst the chaos, the courageous women were leading the occupation, demanding their basic rights in a country that had stripped them of so much. As tensions escalated, the news of a fire at the nearby port started to circulate, and confusion filled the air.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD
These photos were taken moments before the explosion
While the riot police were running after rebels, lawyers, and activists, we heard the news of a fire in the port nearby.
As we looked to the skies and then watched the videos, there didn’t seem to be anything there!
The Moment of Disaster:
While discussing the situation with a friend, I noticed an unusual sight in the sky—a big silver translucent bubble. Before we could process this anomaly, the unthinkable happened.
A massive explosion engulfed the area, shattering everything around us. Chaos reigned as the aftermath of destruction set in.
It hit us!
And then Chaos!
The Shock and Aftermath:
Amidst the devastation, I found myself trembling from the shock. The sky turned orange, and I feared that we had been exposed to radiation. The trauma and fear of the unknown haunted me, and I struggled to come to terms with the scale of the disaster. I stayed with my parents for days, still unable to comprehend the horror I had witnessed.
Devastation, the magnitude of years of war, in one split of a second
I was this close, and couldn't get the whole explosion with my camera
Disclaimer: Apologies on the light traces, settings at that moment were for ground light and not the sky, that's all that could be salvaged
Struggling to Heal:
For two months, I grappled with nightmares and panic attacks, unable to sleep without the lights on. The sound of howling winds and silence triggered vivid memories of the explosion. Writing this account was challenging, but I knew I needed to share my story.
I still suffer some moments that take me back there. Waking up from nightmares at times so real!
A Cry for Change:
The explosion not only took lives and destroyed places but also shattered our sense of safety and security. Lebanon's leaders have failed us, and it's time to stand up and resist. We deserve a future where peace and prosperity prevail, not a country riddled with trauma and hardship.
My journey from an ordinary photographer to a witness of one of Lebanon's darkest moments has left an indelible mark on my life. The resilience of the people, especially the brave women at the forefront of the revolution, continues to inspire me. Today, more than ever, I believe in the importance of resisting, revolting, and demanding change to create a better future for all of us and the generations to come.
Videos are credit of Ágosto Némoth found here: https://www.newsflare.com/profile/dakter