We feel the love from all corners, say Lebanese expats

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massive blasts, Beirut blasts, UAE, Lebanese expats

Dubai - From sending tonnes of medical supplies to launching donation drives, the UAE has stood in solidarity with Lebanon.

by

Marie Nammour

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Published: Mon 10 Aug 2020, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 11 Aug 2020, 10:45 AM

Soon after massive blasts tore through Beirut last week, the UAE was one of the first nations to step in to help. And the Lebanese community felt all the love coming from all corners of the country. 
From sending tonnes of medical supplies and taking part in the Paris relief conference to welcoming travellers with flowers and launching donation drives, the UAE has stood in solidarity with Lebanon. 
"We can't express how grateful we feel to the UAE. God bless Lebanon and the UAE. After learning that we got the approval to collect in-kind donations for Lebanon, I felt like flying," said Abir Chamas, an active volunteer. 
The banker told Khaleej Times that members of the community formed a team on the spot to collect donations. "The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) warehouse in Al Garhoud was flooded with items, all delivered and given away with love." 
Welcoming the Lebanese with flowers at the Dubai International Airport filled the hearts of returning expats with joy, said Hani Harb, a manager in a chain of Lebanese restaurants. "It gave us hope that made us feel the love we really needed after the trouble that shook our beloved country." 
Hani wanted to send across a big thank you to the UAE government and the management of the ERC. "In the past three days, we have received thousands of calls and messages from many Lebanese and others of various nationalities. So far, we are over 80 volunteers here, sorting and packing the items." 
Iman Ghorayeb, a marketing and communications director, added: "We highly value the fact that the authorities here are not only giving the Lebanesecommunity the opportunity to contribute in the relief efforts but also to ensure that the donations are going straight to the needy families." 
Another expat, Betty Leonian, said she received a WhatsApp message calling for volunteers at a time when she needed it most. "For the first time since the explosion, I felt I can breathe bit better, just a little bit.The pain and sadness I feel inside for my beautiful city, I can't describe. It hurts deeply and breaks my heart." 
The HR and administration manager said she did not think twice about joining the ERC drive. "I was with a wonderful group of people. Everyone's goal was to help. It was uplifting to see how people are volunteering and how many others are sending donations. We are extremely grateful for this country's generosity." 
Sara Addam, a product executive, felt the same sentiment. "What made the distress a little more tolerable is the amazing community here. We are all standing together hand in hand. And being in a country that we can call our second home is a blessing. No words can ever do the UAE and the ERC any justice with everything they are doing to help out," she said.
It wasn't only the Lebanese community who has been lending support, Addam added. "Emiratis are also pouring their hearts into making sure that everything arrives safely to our brothers and sisters back home."
mary@khaleejtimes.com 



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