Rita Ghattas

It was not Rita’s inevitable fate on August 4, 2020, it would have indeed been very different if it wasn’t for the “ammonium nitrate” criminals.

Rita, a working mom of two was in her house in Fassouh-Achrafiye on that fateful evening. She was walking in her kitchen to prepare a cup of coffee when the explosion hit Beirut.

Rita immediately lost consciousness and was not aware of what had happened to her when she opened her eyes and saw all the rubble and destruction around her. The intensity of the explosion pushed her to hit something before she fell to the floor unconscious, with a hand injury and a face covered in blood. She did not know if she was alive or dead.

Two hours later, no one was able to call the Red Cross or Civil Defense emergency teams, and her daughter evacuated her to the French Hospital of the Levant; she was unable to move, and she was confused about what had happened.

Rita spent six hours at the hospital and she underwent medical tests and imaging that confirmed her hand sustained three fractures and a joint dislocation. Ever since, Rita has been living in pain and she can’t properly lift or move her hand.

After the first day following the explosion, Rita covered her own medical expenses, and no ministry nor NGO would cover the costs of periodic imaging tests required by her doctor to follow up on her case.

Rita, like many people who sustained long-term injuries following the blast, is fighting to survive, and the government did not support her in her ongoing tragedy… Her injury is a witness to negligence, or otherwise, procrastination.