Like it was yesterday

[written by Lea Karam ]

Like it was yesterday,
The smell of the sea mixed with burnt grain.
The silence in a city that usually never sleeps broken by the sound of our boots as they step and drown in dunes of corn.
The sight on destroyed Beirut as the first rays of the morning unravel the crime that took place with the last rays of the day before; August 4th.

Like it was yesterday,
The fear while checking on people we loved.
The anxiety of the unknown we were heading towards in our vehicles.
The shock as we entered damaged areas, and the complete paralysis the moment we saw the port.

Like it was yesterday.
The hope following the light of the torches looking for any vital sign.
The hope brought by daylight as we explored more areas.
The anger following the hopeless searches
The anger piling with every discovered dead body

The same hope and the same anger took us on the streets again few days later, this time not as first responders but as citizens.
only to be shattered by tear gas and truncheons.
only to be shattered by denial of justice, corruption, and failure in the system.

Like it was yesterday, a fire started, the silos crumbled, a dense cloud formed.
It was yesterday, another part of the silos collapsed.
2 days before the remembrance of the catastrophic blast that killed 218 people and injured 7000.

The explosion blew everything within a radius of 6 miles.

2 years after that tragic day, while everybody’s wounds are still open, politicians are trying to close the investigation, destroy the silos, and rebuild over their crime scene a new structure that will magnify the collective amnesia.

Like it was yesterday, only this year, and for the first time, I’m miles away but somehow it feels the same.