After the explosion

After the explosion

A Syracuse junior wants to maintain a connection to Beirut, Lebanon, by developing film projects that cast light on her home country's beauty.
Published: November 17, 2020

On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion devastated Beirut, Lebanon, causing more than 200 deaths and 6,000 injuries.

Maria Raad was with her friends just outside Beirut when she heard the eruption that would later be attributed to ammonium nitrate stored in the capital city’s port.

The Syracuse University film junior said it felt like everything she knew was gone in a second.

“The only thing that allows me to accept it is that I’ll always have the stories and memories of that place,” Raad said.

Raad, who was considering going back to Lebanon after college, is reconsidering her plans. She may opt instead to maintain a connection to her home country,  by developing film projects that shed light on Lebanon’s beauty that’s rarely shown in mainstream media.

Motivated by a fear of forgetting, Raad is coping with the tragedy by looking back on her memories from the places that no longer exist.

Avatar for Nina Bridges

is a visual journalist and contributor to The NewsHouse.