© Reuters. Shady Rizk, a survivor injured in the Beirut Port explosion last year, poses for a photo in Beirut, Lebanon on July 30, 2021. Photo taken July 30, 2021. REUTERS / Aziz Taher
By Yara Abi Nader and Imad Creidi
BEIRUT (Reuters) – For Shady Rizk, survivor of the Beirut explosion, time has stood still since August 4 last year when a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate exploded in the capital’s port Lebanese woman in front of her office.
“Every day is August 4th, every day,” said the 36-year-old.
“Every day I remember the explosion or what happened that terrible day.”
The massive explosion killed more than 200 people, injured thousands and destroyed large parts of the city.
Rizk was in the office where he works for an ISP and filming smoke rising from a first explosion at the port when the second explosion hit.
This left her with 350 stitches all over her body and face and partially altered her vision.
Having survived the near-death experience, Rizk sees August 4th as his rebirth and now wants to continue this new chapter of his life away from Lebanon.
“I don’t feel safe in my country, that’s why I want to leave … It’s the hardest decision I’ve made in my life,” said Rizk.
He has now applied to immigrate to Canada and plans to be there by October of this year. In the meantime, he still lives in his family home in a suburb of Beirut with a view of the port, a daily memory of his traumatic experience.
As the anniversary of Wednesday’s explosion approaches, Rizk says his “internal anger” is growing, fueled by the blocking of an investigation into the explosion. He is one of the many Lebanese angry at the lack of accountability a year later.
“No one has been arrested yet, no one has resigned, no one is in prison … The truth is not yet known,” said Rizk.
Rizk’s doctor is still extracting glass from his body. And although many of his scars have now been treated, he is still “healing” both physically and mentally.
“The internal scars are even worse, I might eventually heal physically but psychologically I don’t know when I will heal,” he said, speaking as he stood across the street from his office. damaged in front of the destroyed silos of the port.
Rizk is still unsure of his exact plans on the anniversary of the explosion. He fears it brings back memories of “indescribable pain” but is sure he wants to be in the streets near the harbor, expressing his anger.
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