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Calgary prayer vigil held in wake of Beirut explosion

Hundreds of people gathered in front of Calgary city hall for a vigil to remember the victims of the Beirut explosion.

The Calgary Lebanese Association organized the event and invited members of the Lebanese community and fellow Calgarians to show solidarity and sympathy.

On Tuesday August 4, at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon, there was a series of explosions with a colossal one that blew up like a mushroom cloud up in the air.

“It kills us to not be able to help our loved ones right now,” said Alex Halat, President of Calgary Lebanese Association.

Aiding Beirut

People were encouraged to help loved ones in Lebanon by directly sending aid to them. Donations can also be given to Lebanese Red Cross and food bank.

“The biggest and most important thing to help, is they need your prayer, they need your dua,” said Zohair Osman ot the Lebanese community.

Sheik Jammal Hammoud led the prayer and gave messages of unity and hope.

The Calgary Lebanese Association is also organizing fundraising activities.

In respect of the event, the flags of Canada in front of City Hall was also lowered to half mast.

The damage in Beirut

The number of deaths already reached more than a hundred and the injured at around 5,000. Rescue operations are still underway.

The explosion that was caused by improper placement of ammonium nitrate leveled establishments and 300,000 people lost their homes. The blast was felt 150 miles all the way to Cyprus.

For inquiries, Calgarians can contact the Calgary Lebanese Association.

“Lebanon has been through a lot. We’ve been through civil wars, we’ve rebuilt after five, 10 years,” said Halat.

“I’m quite confident, inshallah, in the next five, 10, 15 years, they’re gonna bring back Lebanon to the beauty it once was.”