“I think I’ve just had enough,” says Naila Saba as she stands among the debris of her eviscerated Beirut business.
“I felt the blast, I saw the news, and I was unable to be any more moved. I am exhausted. I have no more tears,” said the 42 -year-old co-owner and chef at Aaliya’s Books, a fixture of the city’s historic Mar Mikhail neighbourhood.
Her thoughtfully arranged bar and bookstore was no more. The steel and glass-panel doors that made up its exterior had been ripped from their hinges in the massive explosion that tore through Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 137 people, injuring 5,000 and displacing up to 300,000.
Shards of glass shot through the bar’s cosy interior like bullets, some embedding in the books that line its back wall. Tables and chairs lay upturned while shattered vases left pink and white flowers on the wooden floor, powdered in crystalline dust.
The large, red air conditioning vents were crushed or flayed open, hanging precariously from the ceiling. So strong was the blast that it peeled some of the navy blue tiles off the bar’s walls.