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:
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:
Also there’s a campaign to help rebuild Papercup and Safar Studio.
A poem on grief from the brilliant Zeina Hashem Beck:
Also listen to author and translator Lina Mounzer:
Our thoughts are with ArabLit contributor, poet, and translator Mishka Mojabber Mourani who is out of surgery and in recovery.