Maria Harb

Maria grew up in a family that valued culture and education. She graduated with a Psychology degree from the American University of Beirut, and worked for an NGO that helped Syrian refugees in Lebanon. It is not much to say that she is an impressive girl, full of life, and conversing with her makes you feel that she has a unique intellectual identity and beautiful feelings toward others. Maria was also a young artist who linked the concept of art with the concept of awareness and consciousness, within a clear vision of the contemporary world.
On that fateful Tuesday, a monster woke up to destroy the city of Beirut. Maria was sitting in a coffee shop in Gemmayze with a friend of hers, finishing some work on their laptops. Her friend heard a deep sound coming from afar and asked her if she did too, but Maria did not give it much attention. She could not imagine something so horrific would happen and would turn a whole city into ruins and kill so many innocents. Suddenly, everything around them turned into rubble. Maria was thrown from her seat and landed in the rubble. Her mind stopped for a moment before she returned to herself. She saw that she was bleeding, and she called her friend who was also bleeding and was going into a full nervous breakdown.
Resorting to her psychology background, Maria managed to calm her friend down before people came to help them out. Maria called her parents who were spending the summer in the mountains, and shortly after, the family driver arrived on a motorcycle and evacuated Maria and her friend to the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC).
On the way to the hospital, the scenery was tragic. At AUBMC, the injured were waiting in line for their turn to receive treatment. Many of them were bleeding and others were screaming in pain. Maria and her friend received first-aid treatment, and the doctor asked them to follow treatment at another hospital because the number of injured people exceeded the capacity to accommodate them.
Maria was transferred to Chtoura Hospital in the Bekaa; on her way, she was overpowered by the pain. Upon her arrival at the hospital, she found out that her right hand had suffered a severe injury, and one of her finger tendons had been severed and she was unable to move it.
Afterward, Maria returned to Beirut hoping she could recover soon as she was told by her doctors. Unfortunately, the opposite happened. Her pain intensified, and she went back to AUBMC where the doctors decided after examining her, to perform surgery on her hand. However, her finger will not go back to its pre-explosion state.
Today, Maria suffers from the injury’s aftermath especially when she is working or painting. Yet, what matters the most to her is not the physical injury, but the psychological damage she sustained. Feelings of fear still haunt her despite living in another country altogether.
One question bothers her and keeps her awake at night, and she hopes she can find the answer: “Will justice be served, and will those responsible for the Beirut blast be held accountable, or was this case forgotten for good like a cry in the wilderness?”