Sarkis Dakesian

A family man in his forties, Sarkis Dakesian the husband and father of two -Arman and Alex, lived a peaceful and stable life. He owned a packaging business until the fateful evening of August 4, 2020, when nothing remained the same.

From his shop in Mar Mikhael, facing the port of Beirut, Sarkis watched the fire from 5:30 PM, until everything exploded. For the next 15 to 18 seconds he was flying everywhere; he was pushed seven meters into the shop, and he was then flown outside before he was pushed back inside. With one of his eyes open, he pulled himself together, pushed the rubble off his body, and walked out.

With the help of a few good people, Sarkis arrived at the hospital with multiple body injuries and a fractured hand. He couldn’t understand what was happening, and people were crying and screaming in pain. He tries to explain it saying: “it was horrible, there were kids, there were elderly people, it was indescribable.”

Two days and two surgeries later, Sarkis saw his reflection in the mirror for the first time since the explosion; His face was red and full of stitches, and one of his eyes was still closed. It took him 40 days to recover 80% of his former healthy self, the remaining 20% is considered, unfortunately, permanent damage.

Two years later, Sarkis is still thankful his elderly father was not in the shop, and he wishes he wasn’t in the shop himself, although he is grateful he is alive and he repeats: “I have two children who brought me back, I came back for them”.

Sarkis also lost 18 to 20 thousand dollars’ worth of products because of the explosion, but he doesn’t care anymore: “nothing really matters as long as I am with my children.”

Two years later, Sarkis still wants to know the truth and he holds Lebanon’s politicians altogether responsible for that tragic night and its repercussions. He wishes they would live the hardships he went through when he didn’t even have to, so they would know what it means!