Houston’s Lebanese community reacts to explosion

Houston has one of the nation’s largest Lebanese communities. People we spoke with who have ties to Lebanon said they couldn’t help but stayed glued to the TV all day after the massive explosion Tuesday.

The images coming out of Beirut, Lebanon are devastating. Dozens of lives lost, thousands injured, and buildings destroyed. The explosion site appears to be from the city’s port, which the struggling country relied heavily upon.

BEIRUT BLAST: Massive explosion shakes Lebanon's capital; at least 70 dead, thousands injured

While the cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, members of the Lebanese community here in Houston say it’s about the loss of human lives and the people who will deal with the aftermath.

“You know regardless of what, who is behind it, or what caused it, we are concerned about the Lebanese citizens, people, you know people with their children elderly you know they are harmless sitting at their home and having this explosion affected everyone’s life and now they feel very insecure,” says Wadih El Hajj, President of the American Lebanese Cultural Center.

He says some people in the community are still trying to reach loved ones who they already worry about because of the issues in Lebanon.

“They’ve been going through the COVID-19, like the rest of the world, and on top of it you know hard economic times, and political turmoil in the country, so that all of it put together and now this one came in to add to all the issues and the problem that the Lebanese people have.”

The ALCC is still in the early stages of planning on how they will offer assistance to those in need in Lebanon. If you want to stay up to date on their plans, you can check out their website.