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Beirut blast leaves victims half-blind | Lebanon



Sama, Rony and Maroun were all permanently blinded in one eye when the Beirut port blast hit on August 4. At least 400 people suffered eye injuries of varying degrees in the blast. 

For psychotherapist Rony Mecattaf, life will never be the same. He was sitting on a balcony overlooking the port when the explosion threw him across the apartment.

“Now it seems that I have lost that whole lateral vision,” Rony says. “If I look at myself in the mirror, I have lost something of me with two eyes. ” 

In another part of town, 34-year old Maroun Dagher is coming to terms with his new reality after a 2cm shard of glass tore through his eye. 

“I would have dreams that I could see and everything, and then wake up,” he says. 

Simple everyday tasks like pouring coffee have become challenges after he lost the ability to judge distances. 

In Beirut’s Mar Mikhael neighbourhood, six-year-old Syrian refugee Sama Al-Hamad still has plans for her future. 

“I love school. I would love to be a doctor,” she says. “So, tomorrow when there is another explosion like this I would be a doctor.”

Sama had been sitting close to a window when the blast sent shards of glass flying into her eye.

Her retina was blown out and doctors say she will need reconstructive surgery abroad. But her family cannot afford it. 

“I’d give my life so this wouldn’t have happened with her,” her father Makhoul al-Hamad says. “I wish all the suffering that befell people had hit me instead, if that would have spared Sama.”

This report was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Hassan Ghani. 

Source: Al Jazeera

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