Dina Salem of Los Angeles is making plans to fly to her hometown of Beirut to help with the clean up after a massive explosion flattened much of the city's port, killing at least 100 people and injuring thousands. (August 5)
DINA SALEM: I was [? gutted, ?] it was panic. And I, basically, for a moment, didn't know what was going on-- who was hurt, who wasn't. There was complete panic at the moment, not knowing what's going on.
And we have family groups, and they started sending these videos and pictures of our home, I saw-- of glass shattered and et cetera-- with no text. So I panicked. And I tried to call, I couldn't get through anyone so I started texting. And then, they were like, we're OK.
The family and friends that I spoke to have described this as louder than anything they've heard in the past. Because we grew up in a civil war, me included. If someone gets out alive from the rubble, it's a miracle. Lots of blood drives. These hospitals are over capacity-- and they were already because of COVID-19. And now it's even worse.
And there's a lot of cleanup that needs to happen. Both of my sister's homes, as well, are badly damaged. And I need to go-- and I'm going to go-- to help. To help with the cleanup, to help be-- I mean, just be an extra set of hands.