In sostegno dei nostri amici libanesi e cristiani…
We do not want to change the demography. The land does not only have material value. It is our dignity. It is where we have our roots…
Christian Volunteers Helping In The Wake Of The Last Week’s Explosion (© Maronite/Beirut)
Caro Diego E CARISSIMI TUTTI, ho copiato dall’Agenzia ZENIT online questi tre pezzi di informazione che mi sembra importante diffondere. Per sostenere i nostri amici libanesi CRISTIANI che sono stati attaccati direttamente dalla violenza dell’esplosione e ora sono attaccati dagli sciacalli in cerca di accaparrare le loro case e proprietà. Facciamo quanto possiamo per sostenere la loro resistenza dignitosa.
Groups Try to Profit in Wake of Explosion
Christians in Beirut have responded with defiance amid reports that groups seeking to profit from last week’s explosion are trying to persuade them to sell up and leave.
After the latest estimates suggested that 300,000 families were displaced by the blast on 4th August, Monsignor Toufic Bou-Hadir described how people – including the elderly – are opting to keep their damaged homes rather than accept offers to sell their properties.
In an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which is providing emergency aid for victims of the blast, Mgr Bou-Hadir said: “There are people trying to profit from this catastrophe and buy land and homes from the Christians.”
He went on: “People want to stay. A number of the old people – and younger ones too – are staying in their homes even ones that are damaged.”
“With all respect to people who hold other religious beliefs, we cannot sell Christian homes to others.”
“We do not want to change the demography. The land does not only have material value. It is our dignity. It is where we have our roots.”
Stressing that Christian districts of Beirut bore the brunt of the explosion, Mgr Bou-Hadir said that in the past few days Church leaders had worked with politicians to frustrate land-grabbers by passing legislation preventing the faithful from selling their homes.
Meantime, nearly 300 young people packed Beirut’s damaged Maronite Cathedral for a night vigil where they heard Archbishop Paul Abdel Sater call on them not to lose faith in their future in the city in spite of the explosion on 4th August.
Mgr Bou-Hadir, who is director of the Maronite Patriarchal Commission for Youth, praised the young people, who he said had been working hard as volunteers to clear the streets of debris caused by the explosion and provide emergency supplies to families.
Within hours of the catastrophe, ACN agreed on an emergency package to provide food to 5,000 families.
Mgr Bou-Hadir stressed that Beirut’s road to recovery would be long and complicated, with reports that 200 people were killed and 6,000 injured.
He said: “I want to thank Aid to the Church in Need for helping to provide essential support.
“To begin with, there was just shock, people were just focused on trying to survive.
“Now people are taking in the full impact of what has happened and they are realizing just how hard and difficult the future will be, but our hope is Christ.”
Cardinal Rai’s Plea for a ‘Neutral’ Lebanon
It Has a Special Mission in the Arab Context
Cardinal Bechara Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, published a Memorandum for Lebanon, in which he hopes that the country will continue to live under a status of “active neutrality,” reported the Vatican Agency Fides, on Aug. 17, 2020.
Thus, Lebanon would be able to play its role and assume “its mission” in the Arab context.
“The religious and cultural pluralism, which is the veritable nature of Lebanese society, makes of Lebanon a land of meeting and dialogue between religions, cultures and civilizations,” stressed the Cardinal. And its “ideal’ position on the shores of the Mediterranean makes “a bridge that links culture, economies and civilizations of the East and the West.”
According to the Cardinal, “Lebanon, with its active neutrality, enjoys three linked, complementary and indivisible dimensions”: the definitive rejection to be part of coalitions, axes, political conflicts and wars at the regional and international level; solidarity with causes of fundamental rights and freedom, in particular the Arab causes that obtained the unanimous support of member countries of the Arab League and the United Nations; the reinforcement of the Lebanese State through its different institutions (military, judicial, legislative and executive).
Cardinal Rai believes that “a strong Lebanese State will promote unity, peace and justice for all citizens and guarantee opportunities for creativity, entrepreneurship and social and economic prosperity. Moreover, a strong State equipped with these qualities will certainly be able to safeguard interior peace and defend the nation from external threats.”
And he added, “a strong and neutral Lebanon is also in need of a just and speedy resolution to the questions linked to the demarcation of its border with Israel, in accordance with the 1949 Armistice, as well as the acceptance of Lebanon’s border as recognized at the international level by Syria.”
Lebanon will “continue to defend the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and will work for a just and equitable solution regarding Palestinian refugees, in particular those that live on its territory.
Caritas Continues Support for Lebanon in Wake of Massive Explosion
Focusing on Providing Healthcare, Covering Basic Needs Such as Food And Water and Repairing Homes and Shelters
Two weeks after twin explosions devastated the port area of Beirut and left around 300,000 people homeless, Caritas Lebanon is focusing on providing healthcare, covering basic needs such as food and water and repairing homes and shelters.
Caritas Lebanon helped more than 46,200 people in the capital and provided them with more than 38,200-hot meals in the first nine days after the blasts. More than 4,500 people received medicines from Caritas, which has also distributed first aid and hygiene kits and food kits and continues to do house calls.
Over 170 people died as a result of the two explosions caused by the poorly stored ammonium nitrate. Beyond the death toll, the 6000 people injured and the 300,000 made homeless, the impact of the explosions on the Lebanese capital is catastrophic and the needs are massive.
Caritas Internationalis launched a Rapid Response Appeal to help 84,400 people for the month following the explosions. People will receive hot meals or food kits, medication and nursing care, hygiene materials and cleaning kits, mental health support, help to fix up their homes and Caritas will also launch community engagement activities.
Sanitation and water supplies have been interrupted in many neighbourhoods and the destruction of the port will further complicate the delivery of food.
Caritas Lebanon warns the psychological effects of the disaster are massive, especially among children who have witnessed the destruction of their homes and schools and injuries to family and community members. The mental health of the population has already been battered by the effects of the deep economic crisis.
Although Caritas Lebanon’s offices were also badly damaged by the explosions, it continued to work and sent teams out to assess needs and provide help in the immediate aftermath. Many young volunteers have also been out in force to help clean up streets and apartments and distribute assistance.
On Sunday, August 16, Fr Michel Abboud, the president of Caritas Lebanon, held a Mass with Caritas volunteers and staff at the port area.
On 9th August Pope Francis made a special appeal for solidarity with Lebanon at his Sunday Angelus. “Last Tuesday’s catastrophe calls everyone, beginning with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country. Lebanon has a particular identity, fruit of the encounter of different cultures, that has emerged over the course of time as a model of living together. Certainly, this coexistence is now very fragile, we know this, but I am praying that, with God’s help and everyone’s genuine participation, it may be reborn free and strong,” said the Pope.