With support from CARE International, Anera has been rebuilding homes destroyed in the Beirut explosion last year.
What does it mean to have your home completely decimated in a matter of seconds? How would you feel if every personal possession that once held a memory was now gone?
The Beirut explosion decimated thousands of homes and valuables. Worst of all, it took something from hundreds of families that is irreplaceable — their loved ones.
Lilian and her family suffered terrible loss in the Beirut explosion. Anera donor thankfully came through to rebuild their dental clinic.
Anera has been supporting those affected by the blast by delivering medical aid to hospitals and material aid distributions to families. Under our Rebuild Beirut program, with the support of multiple donors, we have rehabilitated 800 homes and 141 businesses thus far. One of these partners, CARE International, has supported the rehabilitation of 158 houses.
“Everything was gone. Thank God we weren’t there. I locked the door of my house and left it as it is. I cannot afford to repair it.”
Elie Abed El-Ahad worked at the Lebanese Ministry of Communications for 44 years. Now retired, Elie and his family have lived in their Achrafieh home for more than 70 years. Luckly, they were not home when the explosion obliterated their house and decades of treasured memories. They were visiting his daughter in the Jounieh area along the coast, 10 miles north of Beirut.
“The echo and vibrations of the explosion reached us in Jounieh. We learned from the news that the explosion was at the port of Beirut, which is close to our home.”
Like many families who were away during the explosion, they waited until the following morning to return to inspect the aftermath.
“We were stunned when we found the door completely torn open, and our home in total mayhem. Everything was gone. Thank God we weren’t there. I locked the door of my house and left it as it is. I cannot afford to repair it. My wife and I live on my pension. She is sick and in constant need of treatments and surgeries.”
Elie and his family met Anera’s team during a needs assessment visit to Achrafieh and sought assistance.
“Anera repaired the entire house, from the doors and windows to the bathrooms and the kitchen. It’s now even better than it was before the blast,” Elie said.
“I want to thank Anera and Care, and really all the organizations who have helped the people of Lebanon after the explosion. You are our guardian angels, taking up the role of an absent state. Had it not been for these organizations, none of the residents of Beirut would have been able to return to their homes.”
“Anera repaired the entire house, from the doors and windows to the bathrooms and the kitchen. It’s now even better than it was before the blast.”
Not everyone was as lucky as Elie and his family — hundreds of families were caught in their homes when the blast happened.
Souad Sawaya also lives in Achrafieh. She says of her experience, “I was with my son and my sick husband in the house at the time of the blast. We hid in the entrance of the house and closed our eyes. And when we opened them, our home was destroyed.”
Souad saw her family’s lifetime of work and memories gone in a fraction of a second. She stood in shock staring at the destruction, wondering how they would ever be able to repair it.
After assessing her home with specialist construction experts, Anera’s team rehabilitated her entire house in a short period of time.
“About a month ago, Anera’s team came back and started the renovation process. We’re so glad to have our home restored.”
"We hid in the entrance of the house and closed our eyes. And when we opened them, our home was destroyed.”
To ensure the quality and speed of work, Anera, with the support of CARE International, hired a professional contracting company, Aerob Contracting Corporation. They worked closely with Anera’s team to make sure that the families regained what the port blast took from them.
“We’ve seen many houses in a miserable condition, as they were already in poor condition for many years. The explosion came and wiped out what was left. As a contractor, I felt proud working with Anera on this project. Their team is doing this out of compassion and a sense of duty, and so are we,” says Naeem Hmaidy, the executive manager at Aerob Contracting.