BY SAREEN KASPARIAN
For us, it’s only been a week. For Beirut Lebanon, it’s been 168 hours since the heart of the city was shattered to pieces by a massive, toxic explosion. We watched in anger, fear and heartbreak as families lost loved ones, the wounded suffered and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.
But we also saw courage, commitment and resolve as normal citizens turned into heroes —to meet the immediate needs for food, clean water, hygiene products and shelter. Everyone served a role—from sweeping broken glass to helping families locate missing people to creating safe shelter.
Beirut’s explosion was heard all around the world. Supporters responded immediately with prayer and support followed by fundraising efforts. “As the damage was assessed it became very clear that substantial monetary needs are necessary to support longer-term recovery efforts,” said Mattias Donikian.
“Inspiration to give more and do more is fueled by seeing the immediate results of relief,” said Sofia Minassian. “I am proud of the Armenian-American community for working together to support the physical, economic and emotional rebuilding of the Lebanese Armenian community in need,” said Vem Chatoyan.
“We prayed for the victims of the explosion and also for the wounded but we also pledged our support by raising money and awareness,” said Raffi Boghossian. “Armenia’s immediate response to humanitarian aid was unparalleled,” said Karine Krbashyan. “Philanthropy knows no bounds as we see pledged funds from internationally famed donors like former NBA player Rony Seikaly and investor Carlos Slim,” said Ivan Youssefian.
Recent fundraising efforts have been tremendous as we’ve secured funds to help several families safely rebuild parts of their destroyed homes. Fundraising remains a critical component to Lebanon’s rebuilding. “And we have more to do—now and in the future,” said Alex Akaragian.
“The path to recovery requires the power and unity of our entire region,” said Gary Shirikchian. We urge all readers to join the fundraising efforts of the Pan Armenian Council of Western United States of America and donate today.