“Habibati (my loves), you probably heard about the huge explosions in Tripoli, extremely close to your grandparents’ house, but everyone is fine! I talked to both sides and thank God they are all OK.”
It was 8:09 a.m. when my brothers and I received the text from my mom. I brushed it off, not thinking anything of it — there were always violent conflicts in and around my hometown of Tripoli, Lebanon, and I had gotten used to it. What I did not realize was that my mom played down the tragic event that affected thousands.
On Aug. 23, two car bombs outside of two Sunni mosques (one of them within 10 feet of my grandparents’ home) in Tripoli killed almost 50 people, according to USA TODAY. Hundreds were injured, reminding Lebanon of its horror-filled years during the civil war from 1975 to 1990. A country used to instability and conflict between political groups and religious sects, the citizens of Lebanon held their breath as they waited for the Sunnis, the group of Muslims who primarily occupy Tripoli, to point their fingers at the Shiites of Lebanon. What they got instead was unification, a refreshing reaction in a country of frequent political strife.
In the weeks after the twin explosions shook the city, volunteers gathered to clean and reconstruct the streets, shops and destroyed apartments, according to Lebanon’s The Daily Star. The city still shaken but redeeming its energetic atmosphere.
Suspects have been arrested for the explosions, and theories state the event to be an effect of the civil war in Syria — Lebanon’s neighbor — spilling over into the country, along with approximately one million Syrian refugees. However, even with the heightened conflicts, Tripoli and Lebanon as a whole demonstrate their resilience and brotherhood.
During a time where the Middle East is experiencing painful and bloody revolution as part of its post-colonialism wake up, people who demonstrate their strength and ability to change like the citizens of Tripoli are crucial to recognize as the key to a brighter future in a struggling region.
The Lantern initially ran a photo of Tripoli, Libya with this commentary however it was removed because the article focuses on an event in Tripoli, Lebanon.