“If I had been in Beirut, I would have been in this area here”

«Si j’avais été à Beyrouth, j’aurais été dans ce secteur-là»

Only a few weeks separated the quebec pianist of lebanese origin Steve Barakatt of the catastrophic explosion that blew a part of the city centre of Beirut, where he has just returned after having spent five months.

“When I look at the pictures, I sweat. I could have been there. If I had been to Beirut, I would have been in this area here, ” responded Steve Barakatt in interview to the Newspaper.

The musician returned to Quebec on the 17th of July after having been forced to extend his trip with his family because of the pandemic of COVID-19.

The apartment where he was staying is located four kilometres of the port sector, the place of the blast. The building looked like ruins after a few seconds the explosions.

“I can’t imagine what it took the air two, three kilometres. It is absolutely amazing “, if ” sad ” -t-it.

“Devastating a city that way in a few seconds, it is a historical situation,” said Mr. Barakatt.

The building has suffered severe damage after the blasts.

“State of panic “

If the full extent of the disaster remains to be determined, the many videos and testimonies of members of his family in Beirut allow the pianist to enter the” panic state ” that prevails.

The streets that he wandered there a few weeks ago are in ruins. The material damages were ” extremely important “.

The account of dead and wounded continues to rise, fueling the fears of Mr. Barakatt.

“I’m still new to some people. I am very worried “, he says.

“Imagine what happened on 11 September [2001] in New York. It was a quadrilateral affected. Here, we are talking about a city full of miles of distance. Miles, buildings are destroyed, ” explains he.

Shock wave in Quebec city

The shock wave following the massive explosion was felt in the lebanese diaspora in Quebec city, including at the house of Mr. Barakatt.

The atmosphere in the community mary, sadness, worry and amazement.

“This is a total shock. […] We ask all of the questions as to whether the family of the other is well. We try to cheer you up, but it is very difficult, ” said Naji Daher, who travels regularly to Beirut to visit family.

“In Quebec, the vibe is very sad. One has the impression that it is the drop that makes the vase overflow. Lebanon is already caught in an economic crisis without precedent, ” recalls the young man.

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