In times of crisis, the support of compassionate citizens makes all the difference in rebuilding a stronger society. In the wake of Beirut’s deadly explosion on August 4, donations of all types have been pouring into Lebanon from all corners of the globe—including the UAE—as people across the world continue to join together in an uplifting show of solidarity with the Arab nation.
While the blast’s devastation impacted most, if not all, industries with the unprecedented destruction of homes, offices, and workspaces throughout the Lebanese capital, the city’s creative community is in dire need of support to became a flourishing center of artistry once again. The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) have partnered to launch the Lebanon Solidarity Fund, an international fundraising campaign dedicated to helping the local arts and culture sector regain its footing during this tumultuous time. All the funds raised will aid blast victims in this community based on their urgent individualized needs, from restoring damaged studios and renting temporary relocation properties to protecting irreplaceable museum collections and repairing any necessary equipment. A portion of the fund will also go towards providing for artists who are now homeless and have lost their means of creating.
“The survival and sustainability of the once vibrant creative field is now in a critical condition,” a joint statement from the AFAC and Culture Resource read. “Recovering from the shock will require time, as will the reconvening as a community to identify priorities, articulate visions, and bolster the myriad ways in which people will rebuild their lives from the ruins of devastation.”
This regional fundraising initiative comes at a time when Lebanese arts and culture organizations were already struggling to cope with the financial and social pressures of a deadly pandemic and debilitating economy. “An early recovery is as critical as an immediate response to the impact of this disaster,” continued the release. “Sustaining a viable arts and culture fabric requires a medium- and longer-term accompaniment which is only possible through diverse, consistent, and recurring support.”
In the two weeks since the catastrophe, a variety of leading fashion brands and high-profile personalities have contributed to Beirut relief efforts, from Louis Vuitton’s USD 400,000 donation towards helping vulnerable families through Unicef and the Clooney couple’s USD 100,000 donation to a trio of Lebanese charities assisting on the ground. In a display of the infinite power of creative expression, Madonna also hosted an art sale alongside her children in which all proceeds from the paintings were sent to the non-profit Impact Lebanon.