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August 13, 2020, 05.11 PM

BEIRUT, - Lebanese stand in solidarity after being abandoned by their government in the recovery effort after the Beirut explosion.

In the town of Haris, a newlywed is living in one of Safy Faqeeh’s apartments for free. Neither have met each other before and the newlyweds are also not on a honeymoon.

After their Beirut apartment was destroyed by the massive twin blasts, hundreds of Lebanese opened their homes to survivors including Safy Faqeeh.

Read also: One Indonesian Citizen among Thousands Injured in Twin Beirut Blast

The August 4 blast caused havoc across Lebanon’s capital and has since stirred public anger in which the Lebanese are calling for massive reforms.

The explosion, which was centered on Beirut’s port and ripped across the capital, left around a quarter of a million people with homes unfit to live in.

But they have not had to crowd into collective shelters or sleep in public parks.

That’s because in the absence of the state, Lebanese have stepped up to help each other. Some have let relatives, friends and neighbors stay with them.

Others like Faqeeh extended a helping hand even farther, taking to social media to spread the word that they have a room to host people free of charge.

The couple saw Faqeeh’s offer on Facebook for a free apartment he owns in Haris, some 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Beirut.

They can stay as long as they need to, the 29-year-old Faqeeh said, and he has a second apartment available for anyone else in need.

“This is not help, it is a duty,” he said.

When he was a teenager, Faqeeh's family home was damaged in the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, and they had to stay in a house in Tripoli, clear on the other end of Lebanon.

Now he’s paying it forward. “We have experienced several wars and they (people) hosted us,” Faqeeh said.

The help that Lebanese are giving goes beyond a place to stay.


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