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Close your eyes so as not to see death, chronicle in Spanish from Beirut

Chronicle from Beirut / A normal day in Beirut. I am sitting on my flat in Gemmayze, in the center of Beirut, next to my friend, while I watch through the window that overlooks the port as a small column of smoke comes out from there. It doesn’t seem like anything serious.

Suddenly I hear a sound similar to that of a plane coming very low and a bang and I remember saying to my friend Ahmad: “you know? In Syria we always heard that sound when something exploded. ” Without finishing speaking, everything explodes around me.

I cry, I close my eyes because I was so sure I was going to die that I didn’t want to see how it would happen.

When I open them, I get up and run to the door. It is blocked by the pressure, I manage to open it and I hear my friend shout: “Ana, Ana, where are you?”

As I turn around I realize that an entire wall in the living room has collapsed.

“I’m here Ahmad where are you? I’m going “.

I see him lying on the living room floor. Can walk. Suddenly I hear my roommate, who was with his girlfriend, shouting from his room: “Ana, Ahmad.”

Luckily they leave the room and can walk. We run downstairs because we thought Israel was bombing Lebanon and we had to escape.

We go down 4 floors and I see my 65 year old neighbor bleeding. I was unable to help her, I came down with nothing, my roommate had his phone, we tried to call the Red Cross, someone who could help us.

I wanted to call my mother in Syria, where I was born and from where I came to Lebanon in 2015, but I knew I shouldn’t and I didn’t, I didn’t want to put her in a situation where she felt helpless.

I looked at my chest and realized it was full of blood, my head had a gap, my neck had two big cuts, my chin was open and my right hand had so much blood that I couldn’t even see the wounds.

Ahmad with a face full of blood gave me his shirt to stop the bleeding.

We left the building, we were in survival mode.

We tried to get to a Red Cross post behind the building. On the way with my hand on my head to cover the wound, I saw my neighbors, my friends, my community completely destroyed, it looked like the apocalypse. People running for their lives. A man shouted with his son in his arms “help my son”.

When we got to the Red Cross it was closed and the building was affected, although there were some toilets. I asked one of them to close the wound on my head and they did.

The city was jammed with vehicles, you had to walk to the hospital. After 15 minutes we arrived, but they didn’t let us in because they were already overwhelmed.

We went to a second hospital and they didn’t let us in either, the next one was a 40 minute walk away. We walked and walked and when we arrived again we were prevented from accessing.

I begged a security guard to let me pass so they could put some stitches on my arm. Then we realized that a friend’s motorcycle was parked there and we called him.

Our friend was helping some neighbors, he came out to look for me and I was able to enter. The hospital was destroyed, there were people receiving stitches and cures sitting on the floor and even one person was undergoing surgery at the reception.

I sat down and cried, not because of the pain I didn’t feel but because of the image I was witnessing.

Finally after a while a doctor put some stitches on my shoulder without anesthesia, with whatever needles and threads he could find after cleaning them with alcohol and a reddish medicine. A nurse came and gave me an injection and another cleaned my wounds, other doctors kept coming to put more stitches on me.

After several hours we left, at the door a man was fighting to be allowed in to see his son.

I came home on a motorcycle. I had to retrieve my documentation and maybe my cell phone. Until that moment I did not feel, I did not feel any emotion.

The bike had to stop midway because it was impossible to move between the windows. The streets were already dark and smelled like blood, breathing was difficult.

In the building there were people from Civil Defense, I asked to be allowed upstairs and they did, and I was able to retrieve documents and a telephone.

On my way out, I saw my neighbor, an 80-year-old Ukrainian woman sitting by candlelight in a totally destroyed living room. We tried to convince her to come out, she calmly answered with no.

We were able to leave and get to a friend’s house in the other part of town. When I opened the door, I told her “don’t be afraid, I look like another”, and she burst into tears.

I went straight to the shower, sat in the bathtub but couldn’t wash my head. I cleaned myself up as best I could and began to cry aware of how lucky I was to be alive.

I remembered the 6 years of war that I lived in Syria, where the Armenian family of my parents came fleeing the genocide, and how many times I was lucky enough to survive.

Suddenly my friend told me that my mother was on the phone. I wiped away my tears and like a psychopath I smiled and laughed and cried trying to look like I was okay.

I didn’t sleep, I waited for my friends and we sat together trying to smile and forget what had happened. (August 6, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

The related news in video (August 7, 2020):


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Question 1
Leyendo el texto entendemos que...  
una persona está relatando lo que le contó un amigo cuando se produjo una explosión en Beirut.
una persona está narrando en primera persona lo que vivió cuando se produjo una explosión en Beirut.
una persona está principalmente hablando de cómo era su vida cuando estaba en Siria.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que...  
la persona que está relatando lo que ocurrió resultó ilesa de la explosión que se produjo en Beirut.
la persona que relata lo que sucedió resultó herida a causa de una explosión que se produjo en Beirut.
la persona que relata lo que sucedió desmiente que algunos de sus vecinos resultaran heridos a causa de una explosión.
Question 3
Según el texto...  
Ana habló con su madre dos días después de haberse producido esa explosión.
el edificio donde viven Ana y Ahmad sufrió daños a causa de la explosión.
Ana llamó inmediatamente a su madre después de haber comprobado cómo se encontraba Ahmad.
Question 4
Tras leer el texto entendemos que...  
todos los hospitales que había en la zona funcionaban con normalidad.
no fue necesario que Ana recibiera atención médica.
los hospitales no prestaban servicios con normalidad a causa  de la explosión que se produjo.
Question 5
En el vídeo se dice que...  
miles de personas resultaron heridas a causa de una explosión en Beirut.
las autoridades del país descartan por completo que hubiera un avión sobrevolando el puerto cuando se produjo la explosión.
se desmiente que la explosión se produjera en el puerto.
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