The Beirut blast ruined the lives of many people. One of the people to witness the blast was the 29-year-old Lebanese bride Israa Seblani who was having her wedding photoshoot at the exact moment. Nevertheless, the newlywed is happy that she is alive,
29-year-old Lebanese bride Israa Seblani, looking radiant in a long white gown, stood smiling as she posed for her wedding video. Little did she know that the most important day of her life would be ruined by a blast that took the lives of 177 fellow residents and left around 300,000 people homeless.
The video being shot captured the moment when the massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital by a deafening roar. The powerful shockwave nearly blew her off her feet.
Seblani is a doctor working in the United States. Staying true to her oath, before fleeing central Beirut’s Saifi square to safety, the bride took her time and checked for the injured in nearby areas. The couple was traumatized and had a hard time processing what had happened.
The bride, while talking to Reuters, said,
“I have been preparing for my big day for two weeks, and I was so happy like all the other girls, ‘I am getting married.’ My parents are going to be happy seeing me in a white dress; I will be looking like a princess. What happened during the explosion here – there is no word to explain … I was shocked; I was wondering what happened, am I going to die? How am I going to die?”
The pictures show piles of smashed glass from the blown-out windows of the hotel where she was due to stay littered the ground behind her. Along with these, there are crushed remnants of flower arrangements that had adorned banquet tables.
She and her husband Ahmad Subeih, 34, a businessman in Beirut, had not planned to start their new life like this. Seblani arrived in Beirut three weeks earlier to prepare for her wedding.
“We started to walk around, and it was extremely sad, it was not describable the devastation and the sound of the explosion. We are still in shock … I have never heard anything similar to the sound of this explosion. The scene in the room was unbelievable.”
“I feel so sad about what happened to other people, about what happened to Lebanon. When I woke up and saw the damage that happened to Beirut, the one thing I said was thank God we are still alive. My husband told me to continue; we can’t stop. I was like okay, why not, we continue. I was not living the moment. Actually, I was like a walking; my face was smiling, my lips were smiling, that’s it, not more. Then we went to have dinner.”
Seblani has always wanted to stay in Lebanon. However, after the blast, she believes that staying in the country is not safe. She flew to her home in the US soon after, and her husband is currently waiting for a visa to the United States so he can join his wife there.
“There is a lot of damage, many people were killed and wounded. But also if I want to look at us, myself, my husband, the photographer – how we escaped unharmed, I thank God for protecting us. This alone makes me feel optimistic and to keep the joy of the occasion that I came here to celebrate.”