The Great Collapse
Translated by Staff, Al-Akhbar Newspaper
It’s much similar to the end of the world scene in movies; a cloud that quickly tinted from red to black and then to poisonous ashes, seems like a scene from a movie on world wars. The absurd madmen destroyed the city and turned it into a rubble pile. Screams echoed throughout the country. There was an earthquake and then dust that hid for a moment the scale of the disaster, before people suddenly saw the whole picture. The great collapse that afflicted the center of the country, striking everyone with shrapnel, but unfortunately, failed to unite them.
Whether the incident was due to a mistake, a sabotage operation, or anything else, what it did was lift the cover off of the mangled country. The explosion revealed the face of the great collapse. The collapse of an integrated system, the way of thinking, behaving, managing, and dealing with crises.
The litigants together chanted "the encounter at the edge of the grave". But the tragedy will not bring together the Lebanese who run away from anything that adjoins them. The mass collapse has become an additional argument for further tampering, arrogance and denial. But it is a moral collapse, too, that has afflicted the whole system of values that preserve social and human sympathy. A collapse in the form of a tragedy that did not prevent parties, groups, and individuals from seeking to exploit it for their trivial gains. The collapse proved that nothing can be trusted whether it was an institution, a party, or a person. A collapse that will prevent a collective mourning tomorrow for those who died in this great disaster. A collapse which revealed, in few hours, that a grave tragedy awaits us.
Hearing the comments of those supposed to present themselves responsible, and how they became, in minutes, experts and foretellers of the unseen and the analyses and inventions they devised, means one thing: it is the collapse prior to the great destruction. The destruction that will erase everything. As for the exhausted people, whose blood was hard-wired with sweat yesterday, they will be left alone to die silently; hoping that their death will be less exploited by vultures welcoming death in search for their livelihood even among carcasses. Those, who we do know not why they have been permitted to move between the dead, are inciting victims against each other.
In a moment, silence prevailed, and then the shock was over, as if people were waiting for this incident, as if this country had not yet been filled with destruction, fire, blood, and screams. This ongoing moment is not expected to end soon. And among people are those ominous who wish the worst to satisfy an abhorrent desire, believing that the great collapse will allow them to rise to the top, even above the rubble. Those who told us decades ago that they did not fear war and let the strongest win, are the same ones who groveled abroad and practiced all kinds of killing and abuse inside. Those who were not tired of wars even if no one was left alive. Those who wish for the great collapse believing that Lebanon should be as they wish or not to be!
The sight of the injured at the doors of the emergency rooms makes one speechless. Thousands arrived at the hospitals and immediately returned when they saw the crowds at the door of hell. Doctors examined the victims of the massive storm: dislocated heads, eyes bulging out of faces, and skin peeled off of bones, and blood everywhere. On the scorched earth, rubble held captive those who were late to return home, while semi-homes of the poor were demolished. And what remained standing, iron levers, calling on God to protect those who remained beneath it: humans and stone...
The rest of the tragedy, if we return soon to our normal life as if nothing had happened. Or as if what happened was a mere bus accident. All talk about investigating and solving will remain the same. What one hopes, in these moments of anger, is that the tremor troubles everyone for a long time, to remind us that we no longer own our reaction to sorrow!