As Lebanon and its people are left reeling with the tragic aftermath of two catastrophic explosions that erupted in Beirut yesterday, Lebanese actor Nadine Nassib Njeim was one of the thousands of wounded victims hospitalized by the blasts. Sharing a harrowing account of the disaster on Instagram along with footage — that seems to have been taken by a friend or relative of Njeim’s — of the destruction that ravaged her home, Njeim attempts to put the enormous devastation she and many others around the capital have experienced over the last few hours in words.
Starting off with a sense of gratitude that she is still alive, Njeim begins her post by thanking God for giving her a “new life” in the wake of such calamity. “First, I thank God that he gave me birth again and he offered me a new life,” wrote the former Vogue Arabia cover star. “The explosion was too close and the view of this catastrophe is not something you can describe with words.”
Njeim’s apartment building was one of the numerous structures in and around the city severely damaged in the explosions. Shattered windows, broken glass, and fallen beams cover her living room where “everything is broken”. Njeim was able to escape in time but not without sustaining life-threatening injuries that she fought through to try and receive help. “No one believes that we are still alive and how God gave me the strength to go down 22 floors barefoot, bleeding all over in order to save my life.”
After making it safely downstairs, Njeim goes on to describe not only the inexplicable panic and terror filling the streets of her homeland but also the courage and kindness of her fellow people as she tried to seek medical treatment in overwhelmed hospitals throughout the city. “All the people around me are full of blood, dead bodies, crashed cars, people are screaming and crying. I stopped a car and I begged him to help me and he was so kind as he dropped me to the nearest hospital.” Although the first hospital was unable to help Njeim because they were already above capacity, the second admitted her and took her into a surgery “that lasted for six hours because half of my face and body were full of blood.”
Njeim ends the post with another round of gratefulness that she and her family are all safe and prays for all those who have been affected by this unfolding tragedy. “What I have witnessed is very hard to describe as it looks like a nuclear bomb. I thank God because you protected me and my kids are good and safe as they weren’t home. I thank God every minute and I ask God for mercy on the dead and speedy recovery of the injured.”
As news of the grievous situation continues to trickle in, other Lebanese stars such as Nancy Ajram, Cyrine Abdelnour, and Nour are using their widely-followed platforms to share updates of what’s happening and encourage those who can to donate blood and financial resources to organizations on the ground. For a list of ways you can help, click here.