Shutters still hang from the buildings near the explosion and glazing firms are busy replacing shop windows in surrounding streets.
The flurry of phone calls right after the incident really got me thinking. Since it was the leading story for many European media, I expected the odd call from family abroad, but not so many from locals who know the area well and know we are at least a ten-minute walk from the site. We know several families living closer than us, and we didn’t think to call them. I mean what are the chances that they be affected. Most of all I’d feel embarrassed, as if I was searching for someone with a gory story, wanting to be part of the drama.
But here it is clearly a habit that goes back decades now. Bad news followed by a systematic ring-round of all your acquaintances. Just a quick matter-of-fact call to check and compare stories. Not because the probability is high but just to rule it out…and show you care. I’m sure if I had lived through the conflicts of Lebanese recent history I would do it. It was touching to think that so many people thought of us at all.