An Unlikely Story of Hope: Beirut Blasts, One Year On

Aug. 4, 2021

War Child explosion Beiroet_Lebanon_200827
A year ago today, one of the biggest explosions in history tore through downtown Beirut, tipping Lebanon’s capital firmly over the edge. On the first anniversary of this tragic event, it is tales of hardship and human suffering that continue to make the headlines. Yet, there is also a story of hope rising from the ashes…

A Shattered City

Due to the economic and political crisis, Beirut was already on its knees when a massive explosion of ammonium nitrate tore through the capital’s major port. Now, the humanitarian situation is close to intolerable with one third of Lebanese children going to bed hungry, homes and businesses in disrepair and hundreds of families dealing with lasting trauma.

“While there is no avoiding this painful reality, the resilience and determination of the Lebanese people has been truly astounding”, says Ahmad Jaber, our Communications Lead in Lebanon. “This, alongside the support that War Child and other international aid organisations have provided, is creating a glimmer of hope."

“While there is no avoiding this painful reality, the resilience and determination of the Lebanese people has been truly astounding."
Ahmad Jaber, War Child Middle East Communications Lead

Watch Beirut after a year of the blast


Jaber is talking from experience. For the last twelve months he has witnessed first-hand a united response to an unprecedented crisis in his home city.

From the distribution of food parcels and hygiene kits to the clean-up and repair of vital infrastructure to specialised psychosocial support services, together with UNICEF and other key partners, we have doubled our efforts for children and families affected by the blast. Children like Khaled

Moving Past Trauma

In the immediate aftermath of the explosions, Khaled was plagued by nightmares and feelings of fear and anxiety. Yet, with the support of our Something Out Of Nothing programme he is slowly beginning to heal and manage his emotions.


Through War Child exercises, Khaled is learning how to manage his emotions and stay positive

Photo: War Child

“I've learnt a lot", he says. "If I’m upset, I know to take a deep breath and count to ten."

As part of the programme and in response to nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns, Khaled has been following arts and crafts and mindfulness exercises at home - something his parents are also taking part in. “We also lived through a crisis”, says Khaled’s mother. “When I’m doing the exercises, I feel like I’m in a different world. For a moment, I escape the situation around me.”