A few updates from booksellers and libraries around Beirut, damaged in the explosion of August 4, 2020:
From Aaliya’s Books, an update:
Like almost half the city, our beloved Aaliya’s Books took quite a beating on Tuesday evening. But, much as @naila.h.r.saba, @william.t.dobson and I (@niamhflemingfarrell) love the shop, it is only bricks, mortar and (now twisted) metal and (shattered) glass. Aaliya’s true essence is in none of those material things; it is in you, who came to us as customers and staff and promptly became our friends, family and community. We are so grateful that so many of you came though this explosion physically unscathed, and we send sympathy and wishes for speedy healing to those who did sustain injuries. We are here for any and all of you if you need us. Just reach out.
From Halabi Bookshop, an update and request for help for municipal libraries:
Halabi Bookshop writes that their bookshop and staff are safe, adding:
The municipal public libraries in Beirut under the management of @AssabilNGO have been severely damaged, in their 3 branches Bachoura, Jitawi and Mono.— Halabi Bookshop (@HalabiBookshop) August 6, 2020
For those who wish to help in removing debris, cleaning and arranging, please go to Al Bashoura Library, Civil Defense Bldg. F3 pic.twitter.com/auAp2RtcKs
From Manara Bookshop, a community fundraising campaign:
AJ Naddaf is raising funds to help Manara Bookshop and its surrounding community:
Among the places badly damaged is the very special Manara book store off Hamra street, which supports vulnerable people from all walks of life and has always focused on rebuilding the lives of people around them. They have continued to generously help those in need throughout the pandemic and period of rising inflation. Their efforts are now even more urgent due to the massive explosion. Save the Children says in the Greater Beirut area almost one million people do not have money to buy food.
From Papercup, a request for help:
Among the 10s of 1000s affected by Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, were our friends & partners, @PapercupStore.— Workshop Coffee (@WorkshopCoffee) August 7, 2020
Located less than 2km from the Port of Beirut, their bookshop & cafe has been badly damaged by the blast, but thankfully the team is safe & well. pic.twitter.com/Fam77xtsnz
Also there’s a campaign to help rebuild Papercup and Safar Studio.
A poem on grief from the brilliant Zeina Hashem Beck:
I wrote this today so as not to go mad, I think. The friend I mention here, who wrote a poem for my sorrow, is the dear Farah Chamma.— Zeina Hashem Beck زينة هاشم بك (@zeinabeck) August 7, 2020
My heart is unliveable landscape living inside me. #Lebanon #BeirutBlast #علقوا_المشانق pic.twitter.com/89H4y2GXhx
Also listen to author and translator Lina Mounzer:
I spoke with @warghetti about the Beirut explosion of August 4th, 2020.— The Fire These Times Project (@FireTheseTimes) August 7, 2020
Further links including how to help here: https://t.co/p6iLru2XBQ
The Fire These Times will be back in September. pic.twitter.com/jPYf52Rf1h
Our thoughts are with ArabLit contributor, poet, and translator Mishka Mojabber Mourani who is out of surgery and in recovery.