It has been just over two weeks since the deadly Beirut Port explosion that killed at least 180, injured over 6,000, and left over a hundred thousand without homes. The impacts of this horrific event are still unfolding.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Lebanon’s most recent sit rep on the port explosion, covering the period from August 14 – 17, says that an estimated 70,000 workers have lost their jobs as a result of the blast, this coming amid an economic crisis that has improvished so much of the country—compounded by a coronavirus crisis that has, post blast, reasserted its threat through record increases in cases and a new lockdown scheduled for August 21 to September 6.
Our July/August issue comes, not as intended in the first week of August, but instead in its third, a direct consequence of the blast. None of our team suffered any serious injury in the explosion, for which we are incredibly grateful. But we could not but be impacted by what happened, our city, through sheer incompetence and negligence, was destroyed around us. The mental stresses and trauma of August 4 has had an impact on us all.
The original focus of this issue was our special report on anti-corruption, undertaken in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme. After the blast, we took time to rethink our cover for this issue, as well writing our own reflections on the explosion and its aftermath, which can be found in the beginning pages of this PDF.
The rest of the magazine we bring to you as intended, prior to the events of August 4. Our special report on anti-corruption has lost none of its relevency in the wake this tragedy, rather the raw necessity of combatting corruption in this country has sharply increased in focus.
To our readers, we are simply grateful you are still with us and share our aspirations for a just future.