The British singer, who has Lebanese roots, shared in the country’s grief over the deadly Beirut bombing.
A massive warehouse explosion in Beirut last Tuesday (August 4th) killed at least 157 people and injured thousands more, destroying the city’s port area. As investigators continue to comb through the rubble, protesters have sparked their anger against the Lebanese government, accusing leaders of years of negligence in storing 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate linked to the blast.
British glam-pop star Mika (real name Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr.), who was born in Beirut and whose mother was of Lebanese descent, wrote a letter to the Lebanese people to share in their grief and anger over the incident . billboard An English transcript was sent to:
My dear Lebanon, my dear Beirut,
Still still early in the morning on the other side of the Mediterranean and I feel so close and yet so far away from you. So close to you, as you lie devastated by the apocalypse, I can not stop staring, disfigured, at the beaten expressions of my brothers and sisters. In their eyes, I feel their fear, their tears. I tremble when I see an injured person carried through the back window of an old car, a young girl covered in blood in her father̵7;s arms, residents shocked by the shell running through streets littered with rubble, windows broken and shattered buildings … So far from you, haunted by desolation, I hear in my head the deafening noise of two explosions that haunted the inhabitants of Beirut. The screams of grieving families and shocked victims join in the middle of the night with ambulance circular sirens. I was also told about the silence in the early hours of this morning, about the smell of tobacco debris.
In the face of this chaos, I recall a verse from the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran: “man can only be reached at dawn by taking the road of the night.” For several months, you have sunk once more on the night trail. There are disruptions, echoes of conflict at your borders, corruption, the powerlessness of your leaders, the monetary crisis which has plunged your families into misery and then the escalation of the coronavirus epidemic. The careless Lebanese nature, the response to dramas in the past, was replaced by anger and fear. I became more and more anxious every day, as if my wounds, the roots, which I left behind at the age of only one and a half, were finally catching up with me.
And then, suddenly, at 6:10 a.m. Tuesday, a tragic gray cloud rose from your harbor, draining your exhausted people. Thick orange smoke engulfed the Beirut skies and replaced the distant memory, often recounted by my mother, of the yellow light washing our apartment on the fourth floor, overlooking the sea in Corniche. I can not think of these two explosions as a symbol of a system that is collapsing. The dropping of bombs, causing deaths on roads still marked by war wounds, cannot be unheard of. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab promises that those responsible will “respond”. But those who are responsible for whom? For what? Those responsible for 30 years of agony that have turned the land of cedars into the land of ashes. A catastrophe is said to be a tragic outcome, the end of a series of disasters.
After darkness comes dawn. I know your resilience, your strength and your solidarity, nurtured by your mix of cultures, by this special country you occupy, halfway between the Arab world and Europe. Tomorrow, you will rise as you have always done before. Music will flow out of your windows once again. People will jump on your terraces and perfumes will shake from your kitchens. I will be there.