On the first commemoration of the tragic 4 August Beirut Port explosion, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, addressed a letter to the Lebanese titled, “One Year Post-Explosion?” Through it he urged them the necessity of cooperation and solidarity as one population in order to overcome all the repercussions and difficulties resulting from this disaster aiming at building a better future.
This message was published in the special issue of "Al-Muntada" magazine, issued by the MECC Communication and Public Relations Department, which is entitled "Beirut, in the Heart of the Church, Beirut, a City of Resurrection".
In his speech, His Holiness Pope Tawadros affirms the continuous solidarity of the Egyptian people with the wounded Lebanon and its children. He says “We hoped and prayed for Lebanon to get back on its feet and rise healthy and strong to restore its glory, history and present in the hope of a better future for all its children…”
However, His Holiness regrets the situation that Lebanon is passing through a year after the disaster, especially that justice has not yet been achieved. “As the Arab proverb says, not all the wishes can be fulfilled, nor the ties serve the purpose of the ship. Days and weeks have passed, and the year came to an end. The disaster led to crises, hopes collapsed, and frustration and despair crept into the hearts of people in Lebanon and abroad”.
Pope adds “Individualism, subjectivity, and personal interests have prevailed, while cooperation, united work, and putting the interest of the nation first became lost values...” He continues “Social groups, sects and religions are still competing with each other while the country breaks and bleeds in silence…”
Hence, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II calls on all the Lebanese to live with brotherhood, love and hope. He says “My beloved brothers and sisters of Lebanon, our life is nothing but a spot of steam that would appear for a little while and then vanishes... but you own this life. Look at your sons, daughters, and children. Look at your future, your dreams, and the longings of your hearts. Look at the tired and heavy laden, whom no one remembers”.
As a father, His Holiness says to the Lebanese “Please unite in good so your country would go back to being shining, brilliant, successful, and distinguished”. Therefore, he gave them an advice “Differ as you wish, but unite under the higher interest of the nation, as one opinion, one soul, and one love for this beautiful country...”
Concluding his message, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II renews his support and Prayers for the Lebanese people “I am writing to you praying with all my heart for your unity. The time for division and partisanship is over. Rise and take responsibility, and May God grant you His peace and strength, so that you may be successful in your good work”.