The story from Beirut: how the support of Estonians helped a tailor in difficulty
At the invitation of the Estonian Refugee Council, in August 2020, the Estonian people donated more than 10,000 euros to support the victims of the explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut. We have previously written about Ziad, whose house was renovated with the help of Estonians. Here is the story of Saad.
One of the streets in Beirut after the blast. Phootos: Sawa for Development and Aid
Saad, a tailor from Egypt, came to live in Lebanon six years ago, hoping to improve his financial situation. He set up his business in a lively and bustling area of Mar Mikhael. However, after the Beirut explosion, it became one of the most severely damaged districts.
After the post-explosion shock, Saad rushed out of his store and was shocked to see what was happening on the street: everything was full of rubble and confused people, mostly the elderly, many of whom wandered around injured. People in the neighborhood asked Saad for help.
"I had one arm injured and bleeding, but I helped as much as I could. People were scared, shocked, screaming. I didn't get to the hospital until eleven o'clock in the evening. They said I needed a surgery."
Saad's hand after the surgery.
The explosion in Beirut made Saad's dreams even more difficult to achieve. After the explosion, the man found himself in a situation where his shop had been badly damaged - since the front of the building was mostly made of glass, it was now broken. The injured hand also healed stubbornly, and Saad had difficulty covering the cost of treatment. Saad was forced to leave the room he had lived in before - it was completely destroyed. Later on, after going to see his workshop, he discovered that although the entire building had been restored, it wasn't the case with his room, because he was not there in time to register his name under the system.
Saad was one of those who received support for the reconstruction of his living and working space from the Estonian Refugee Council's donation campaign, which was delivered to him by our local partner SAWA. The support of Estonian donors helped him survive a very difficult time for his family - especially since a new baby was about to born.
"I thought that if I worked a lot and raised money, I could go back to Egypt and start my tailoring business at home. But now that I have a newborn daughter, I need to work even harder to provide food and medicine for the family. I can't put anything aside," said Saad.
Sawa for Development monitoring the situation.
Saad's story is one of tens of thousands. Rebuilding Beirut will take years to come: in January, with the support of our Foreign Ministry, we also launched a new humanitarian aid project that will support both the employment of vulnerable groups and the reconstruction of Beirut. If you want to help as well, you can donate to our humanitarian aid fund. Every euro counts! Thank you!