“We’re all dead today,” said John Abi-Habib after last week’s devastating explosion in Beirut. “If it didn’t kill our bodies, it killed our hearts.”
Abi-Habib, New Jersey’s honorary consul of Lebanon and the owner of MSI Net Inc. in Bay Ridge, lost his uncle in the blast, while his cousin was seriously injured.
“My uncle was in the hospital,” he said. “He was in his 90s and, thank God, he lived a good life … He went for low blood pressure and the hospital collapsed.
“My cousin got cut in the head and they wouldn’t take him in the hospital because everything collapsed. They went to four major hospitals in Lebanon … they all collapsed because they are all in the same area.
“[They] had to drive for 26 miles all the way in the mountains … This is where I grew up and where all my cousins are from. Then another 15 minutes from where we grew up to another hospital that would take him. They were already full. It was about five and a half hours before he could be seen.”
Abi-Habib said Lebanon needs the world’s help to recover from the disaster.
“For over 50 years, Lebanon has been assisting people in need, providing refuge, food, resources, homes and hope for neighboring countries,” he said. “Today, we ask the international community to lend a hand to assist the Lebanese people in their time of need and struggle. The search for victims will continue and the death toll will rise.”
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