Lebanese-Americans held a candlelight vigil on Thursday in San Francisco, California, for victims of the Beirut explosion that killed 154 people and injured another 5,000 when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded on Tuesday.
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One person who attended the vigil near the iconic Bay Bridge, thousands of miles away from Beirut, said she felt powerless when she heard the news of the destruction.
“Being so far and instead of being [in Lebanon] actively helping people, going to a vigil is the least I could do to support my community abroad as we are all devastated,” Diana Zahra, a Northern California resident who moved with her family to the US 20 years ago, told Al Arabiya English.
Another one of the attendees took to Twitter to call for more concrete support than thoughts and prayers.
“Thoughts & prayers are cool & all... but what are you doing other than that? We need to SHOW UP for the Middle East and use our privilege to help them. LONG LIVE LEBANON!” Sanna tweeted along with photos of the group.
Vigil for Lebanon tonight. PLEASE DONATE. Thoughts & prayers are cool & all... but what are you doing other than that? We need to SHOW UP for the Middle East and use our privilege to help them. LONG LIVE LEBANON! 🇱🇧 #lebanon pic.twitter.com/a1C6dn4gwY— Sanna🤍ثنا (@humanbecomiing) August 7, 2020
A San Francisco resident who is originally from Lebanon told Al Arabiya English that he felt “very lucky” to know his family in Lebanon was safe but he was “sad” about the country’s situation.
“I wanted to come to the vigil to hopefully show some solidarity… and let my friends and family in Lebanon know that there are people here in San Francisco who want to support,” Mazen Faloughi said.
Sixteen people have been arrested in Lebanon as part of the ongoing investigations into the cause of the blast that rocked Beirut, the state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday citing a judge.