Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Lebanese council in UAE sends thousands of window panes to Beirut to help repair 1,000 homes

A shipment of 138 tonnes of glass will leave Dubai on Wednesday

Thousands of window panes will be shipped from the UAE this week to help repair homes and shops destroyed by the deadly port explosion in Beirut.

On Tuesday, 138 tonnes of glass was loaded on to six shipment containers in Dubai that will depart for Lebanon on Wednesday.

The panels, each measuring 3.2 metres by 2.5 metres, will be used to repair windows for more than 1,000 homes and small businesses that shattered in the deadly blast that reverberated across the Lebanese capital.

The aid distribution is part of the Together for Beirut campaign launched by the Lebanese Business Council in Abu Dhabi.

The glass coverings will be fixed permanently and will prevent people from looting small shops and make people feel more secure in their homes

Sufyan Saleh

“When we heard news of the explosion we came together to see what the immediate need was for those affected in the surrounding areas,” said Sufyan Saleh, president of the council.

“The blast caused devastating structural damage across the city, especially to the facade of buildings, many of which were homes.

“The glass coverings will be fixed permanently and will prevent people from looting small shops and make people feel more secure in their homes.”

Houses as far away 20 kilometres from the blast site were destroyed by the massive explosion caused by the improper storage of ammonium nitrate at the port.

The incident killed more than 170 people, injured 6,000, rendered hundreds of thousands homeless and caused up to Dh55 billion in damage.

Mr Saleh said the glass panels being sent from the UAE would cover about 9,000 square metres and would take several weeks to reach Tripoli, Lebanon's only remaining major port.

Aramex, a Dubai-based courier company, supported the logistics operations and the glass was procured from a UAE-based construction company.

Once the shipment arrives, teams will move to Beirut and begin distributing the coverings to those most in need.

“We are solely focused on underprivileged families and people with small businesses,” Mr Saleh said.

More than 130,000 tonnes of glass is to be shipped to Beirut from Dubai to help repair the capital following a devastating explosion at the port. Courtesy: Lebanese Business Council
About 138 tonnes of glass is to be shipped to Beirut from Dubai to help repair the capital following a devastating explosion at the port. Courtesy: Lebanese Business Council

“We have people on the ground assessing who needs what.

“Once the glass reaches the city, work will begin on measuring and fitting the panels.

“For some people their homes and livelihoods have been destroyed, we just want to offer whatever help we can to ease their suffering.”

Mr Saleh, a Lebanese resident, said both of his daughters were in Beirut when the explosion took place but, thankfully, neither were hurt.

“My daughter owns a small fashion store in the city and was with her sister in the shop that day,” he said.

“By some miracle they decided to close early as business was slow.

“Within 15 minutes of leaving, the explosion ripped through the city and destroyed her whole shop, but they were both unharmed.

“For the past week they have been helping to clean rubble from the streets so this is something very close to my heart.

"Seeing the state of her shop, I can only imagine what the outcome could have been."

Updated: August 12, 2020 03:26 PM

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