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Lebanon crisis

Watch: Beirut neighborhood damaged by explosion opens Christmas village

Published: Updated:

The Lebanese NGO “Solidarity” opens a Christmas village in the neighborhood of Mar Mikhael near the port of Beirut, which was severely damaged in a huge explosion in August that killed at least 181 people, injured more than 6,500 and left scores of people homeless.

“Despite the fact that our homes were lost, we will remain strong and continue to move forward. The Lebanese people are used to being united and whatever happens we will remain united. We will not let them (politicians) humiliate us any more and I’m sure they will leave. We will be united in our celebration of Christmas despite the fact that we lost a lot of people we love, but we will stay strong and we will not fear anything,” said Ula Deeb, resident of the neighborhood of Achrafieh affected by the blast.

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Christia Amyouni, a resident of Beirut, said the event organized by the NGO ‘Solidarity’ was done in order to let residents witness again the atmosphere of Christmas “in the middle of these sad circumstances.”

“Joy came back to Beirut residents, we’re very happy and I encourage everyone to come with their children to vent their frustration and to feel the atmosphere of Christmas,” Amyouni said.

Families of blast victims are increasingly frustrated that details have not emerged from an investigation since the Aug. 4 explosion caused by a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, which was stored in unsafe conditions.

The blast, one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history, injured thousands of people and devastated several districts in the center of the capital.

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