Eliass El-Diri

Elias Deiry, a renowned journalist, was injured in the Beirut blast, which was described as the biggest non-nuclear explosion in modern history causing indescribable damage around the city of Beirut.

Elias was one of the oldest journalists at Annahar Newspaper; he didn’t know a day would come when he would have to give up on his pen and become a survivor of the August 4 explosion. He didn’t know he would become the news when he used to report the events happening in the country. His son recalls the events of that fateful afternoon and mentions that he has never witnessed anything similar even in the darkest of times during the civil war.

It was just a normal day. Elias would go to the newspaper to write his articles, he was about to complete his last novel, and he was writing his memoir. Elias’ pen was his sword and his best friend, he’d play with his words to serve his purpose, and he was always writing. Yet, August 4 happened, and a fire erupted at the port of Beirut, causing a huge explosion at 6:07 PM. Elias was watching the fire from the window of his home in Achrafieh when everything around him turned into a war scene. Furniture was destroyed and the house was stained with blood. His wife was also injured in the blast, and despite her own pain, she tried to help him.

Their children arrived a while later and they could not believe their eyes; the house that hosted cultural and intellectual gatherings was never meant to look like a war scene. It was something they have never seen before and they are grateful they could reach them in time. Elias was evacuated to St Joseph Hospital, which was overwhelmed with people requesting medical assistance; he was then transferred to Hayek Hospital.
For Elias’ children, the clock had stopped at 6:07 PM; they really thought their father would not survive the blast, but he was saved by an angel-like doctor who brought him back to life. Hope never left Elias, it was stronger than death and weakness. He responded to treatment and survived the hardest battle of his life.

The government only covered a petty part of Elias’ ongoing treatment, including medicines and physical therapy.

Elias’ determination defeated death and brought him back to life; surviving the blast is a badge of honor he wears with pride. He will never forget his pen stayed imprisoned in that horrible moment, but his story will go on.