Lebanon: after the bombs, hope reborn from young people

A concert of more than 2,200 people in aid of rebuilding the houses damaged by a bomb on 19 October. The desire not to give in.

The Lebanese chief of police was killed and 40 houses in the Achrafieh neighbourhood destroyed in a terrorist outrage in Beirut on 19 October. Many people were left homeless and in need of aid. Jacques, a member of Youth for a United World (Y4UW) who had been at the Genfest in Budapest – an event called ‘Let’s bridge’ that brought more than 12,000 young people to the Hungarian capital – had the idea of holding a concert to raise funds for the homeless and give a message of peace.

It all began with a conversation on WhatsApp. Jacques is also president of a Music Club at his university. After chatting via WhatsApp with several members of Y4UW and other members of his Music Club the idea emerged to have a concert. In just a few days more than 2,500 young people confirmed via Facebook that they would be present. The word spread through TV and radio interviews and articles in newspapers.

On the eve of the concert, organized together with other Lebanese NGOs, the Y4UW in Lebanon wrote, ‘Something much bigger than us is happening, but we go ahead with God’s help. We feel that it is God who is working miracles, because at the moment there are too many political divisions in  Lebanon, and they have been made worse by the bomb. Many young people are disgusted by what the politicians have been saying. This concert is like a light in the midst of deep darkness, a message of hope, of peace and unity among Lebanese people. With this concert we want to give witness to our ideal and to the unity of Lebanese young people.’

The colour code for the concert was white, a sign of peace. At the entrance white strips we handed out, just as they had been at the Genfest, as a sign of a commitment to build peace. ‘The concert left a trail of enthusiasm. We feel as if the Genfest has continued,’ Y4UW also wrote.

It was an important event, therefore, under the banner of the United World Project launched at Budapest (www.unitedworldproject.org). The project is being made effective by means of small or large fragments of fraternity, like this one in Lebanon, building up a more fraternal world even in the most sensitive and risky places.



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