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Linden family shaken by scenes of destruction in their hometown of Beirut

As the recovery and cleanup continues and the death toll only rises, the Jawharis have not been able to sleep, thinking of the country that was once their home.
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (8/7/2020) - “At first it’s like I didn’t know how to cope with it. I was in shock,” Enaya Jawhari said. “I’ve been crying for the last three days.”

The photos and videos of the blast that shook Beirut, Lebanon are hard to comprehend.

As the recovery and cleanup continues and the death toll only rises, the Jawharis have not been able to sleep, thinking of the country that was once their home.

Sam and Enaya Jawhari were last there one year ago with their sons.

“We went to a nightclub right there on the beach, you know, on the, on the sea,” Sam Jawhari said.

The two have lived in the United States for years, but wanted to travel home to visit Enaya's parents and siblings, and Sam's cousins.

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful city, you know, anybody that’s ever been to Lebanon, they tell you it’s the Vegas of the Middle East,” Sam said. “The people are so resilient.”

That's why they named their restaurant Beirut. You may recognize the couple from their spot inside Flint's Farmers Market.

They were working there Tuesday when a fellow vendor shared the news of the explosion.

“I dropped the phone and I backed out,” Enaya said. “That’s how bad, like oh my God, I couldn’t even, like, handle it.”

With phone lines down, they feared the worst for some time. One family member eventually got a hold of them to let the couple know every one of their relatives were okay.

Enaya's sister had just left her office downtown 30 minutes prior to the blast.

“A lot of people died, innocent people they died. Like why? What, like, why do you even have something like that so dangerous right by the port, where you bring food, where you take out food, our more, most important place in Lebanon. Why, why do you do that? Like, why? This is not right, not, not right, not right,” Enaya cried.

The latest reports out of the country say more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate, an explosive chemical used in fertilizer or bombs, blew up as a fire took over the warehouse it was stored in.

“With this government they forced upon the people, they just so corrupt,” Sam said.

His wife added, “They killed them. They destroy them. They made them with no homes. They have no food, no water, no nothing. And the people, all the Lebanese come together, they’re cleaning up their mess. Their mess!”

The Jawharis said they know the people of Lebanon are resilient. That’s giving them faith their City will eventually heal.

“I know we’re all going through a rough time right now too here, you know,” Enaya said. “If anybody can help, that would be great. They need our help, they really do this time, like they really do.”

If you would like to help, the Jawharis said the best way to do so is donate to the Lebanese Red Cross here.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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