Beirut, the UAE has not forgotten you
Three initiatives around town that are still working to raise funds for victims of the Lebanon blast - or just lend a helping hand
It's been nearly a month since the Beirut blast, when a massive explosion ripped through the capital, leaving nearly 200 dead and thousands injured.
There's been an outpouring of support from the UAE community ever since - but it's heartening to know that even though the event is out of the headlines, UAE residents still haven't forgotten Beirut.
Here's a round-up of a few initiatives that continue to run across the emirates, in coordination with licensed charities.
Some of the best stylists in town have gotten together to cut and style your manes in a bid to raise donations for Beirut. For Dh315, you can have your hair washed, cut and blow-dried; alternatively, you can also have a wash and blow-dry for Dh105. All proceeds will be donated to the people of Lebanon via Emirates Red Crescent.
Natalie Kasses, creative director for Pastels Salon in Dubai and one of the organisers, said it's been a really nice "community event" so far. "A lot of the stylists and educators are from different emirates and they don't come together very often, seeing as we work for different brands."
The response over the last few days has been heartening though, with the professionals being booked out, especially over the weekend.
It wasn't just the beauty industry that stepped up either. "The clients were from everywhere - India, Australia, Britain! That's what I love about the UAE. In this country, we all come together as a community, no matter what nationality you are," said Natalie, who also works with Dyson and L'Oreal as one of their international ambassadors.
The effort began on August 28 and will run till August 31. Although today is the last day of the initiative, Natalie hinted that stylists in Abu Dhabi who couldn't make it for this project are considering replicating the idea in the capital too.
In the meanwhile, if you'd like to do your part, call 058-5917577. Appointments must be pre-booked in order to secure a spot.
Tribute to Lebanon
In keeping with the UAE's one-of-a-kind ethos, Italian atelier Fantini Mosaici has also gotten onboard with a unique contribution of their own: 10 limited-edition coffee tables in the shape of the map of Lebanon.
General manager Lorenzo Lotesto noted that the project was quite "unusual" for them as a company. "Our projects are usually much bigger - palaces, hotels and mosques. But we were happy to do something to support the people of Lebanon. We're Italian, but we've had a branch in Abu Dhabi since 2005, and a lot of Lebanese friends in the UAE as a result. It was natural to try to support them in this small way."
Each piece has been cladded with mosaic from Italy and took about 10 days each for one artisan to create.
With a couple of them already snapped up, Lorenzo is confident that the remaining coffee tables - going for Dh4,000 a piece - will be sold soon as well. All proceeds will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sounds like a plan
When news of the blast broke, SoundStruck Studios in Dubai were one of the first to offer help - and in a wonderfully thoughtful way too.
"Dear Beirut creatives, SoundStruck Studios would like to extend a helping hand to all audio and music professionals unable to finish their current projects due to their studio being demolished or rendered inoperable and to all those who need audio and music work done in order to finalise their projects. We're ready to help in any way we can." read a statement issued on social media.
Speaking to WKND, founder and managing director Charles El Soueidi said, "Besides being able to help financially, I felt no one was really thinking of the professionals in Lebanon and how they'd bring in the income required to rebuild their offices and homes. Having the resources we do here, it seemed like the best way to help them regain their source of income."
The firm received a lot of positive feedback, including other professionals pitching in to help them and other companies putting out similar offers. "As people start to get back to their daily jobs, we're still open to requests for help, if anyone wants to reach out to us," said Charles.
SoundStruck Studios can be found on Instagram: @soundstruckdxb.