DSPR-Lebanon Assists Beirut Disaster Zone Residents
The small open pickup truck, laden with large boxes, made its way cautiously down Alexander Fleming street, an offshoot alley from the Mar Mikhael road, and just a few minutes walking distance from the Beirut port. „Hello! Hello“ Norma Irani warmly greeted Joint Christian Committee (JCC) [how the Middle East Council of Churches’ Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees is registered in Lebanon] worker Elias Habib. „And you brought my new gas stove!“ Irani, somewhere in her early sixties, was practically jumping with excitement. „I don‘t know how to thank you,“ she said, smiling broadly, „come up, come up.“ Hauling a big box on his back, the pickup driver carefully made his way to her third floor flat.
Habib met Irani in August right after a large amount of ammonium nitrate, stored at Beirut›s port, exploded and killed almost two hundred people, wounded thousands, and left over 300,000 people homeless. Irani‘s flat was destroyed, and she had sought the cleanup help of JCC, housed in temporary headquarters in a destroyed restaurant on Mar Mikhael street. At the time, Habib headed twenty Palestinian teenagers from Dbayeh camp who spent three months immersed in the cleanup efforts of the area.