“This is greater than anything ever before.”
It is not the first time I have heard this since we arrived in Beirut.
We are sitting with a government employee, his eyes are heavy, his usual, almost flirtatious energy, totally gone.
He looks tired. In fact, he looks completely broken.
He is broken. He tells us how, for the first time, he now wants his children to leave Lebanon – despite having put them through the best education to stay here. Nothing compared with this – not the years of civil war, assassinations, car bombs – this was different. It is different.
We have all been affected, he tells us. Family died, friends died, homes were blown up and businesses lost.
A sudden, violent blast that sucked the oxygen out of this city and its people.