MIDLAND, TX — A Texas Tech grad born and raised in Beirut shared what his family experienced during the explosion.
“I guess we’re getting by. Everybody is getting by other there. There’s not a lot you can do,” Mezher said.
Nader Mezher is an engineer in Midland, Texas, and graduated from Texas Tech in 2017. He now has a wife and child here, but his parents, younger brother and other relatives and friends still live in the Lebanese capital just a few miles from where the explosion started.
He said so far, his family and friends haven’t been injured and are “doing okay,” but their homes were severely damaged as earthquake-like shockwaves shattered glass and windows across the city.
“There’s close to 300,000 people that are going to sleep in houses with no windows,” Mezher said.
The search is on for survivors under the rubble, and of the more than now 100 dead and thousands injured, Mezher added that he fears that some people he knows may be among them.
“A lot of people are still unaccounted for right now, so we can’t really know for sure that everybody we know is fine,” Mezher said.
The warehouse where the blast started was located near a hotspot for nightlife with popular bars and restaurants, and Mezher said he liked to go there with his friends growing up.
“I guess sadness sets in … I’ve been to that place many times,” Mezher said.
Mezher added that he had actually planned to go back to Beirut to visit with his wife and child later this month, and he’s thankful he wasn’t there during the blast.
But the wake of the disaster doesn’t just leave destruction and death. It also leaves many unanswered questions from an angry population. Mezher said he and his family want an investigation and someone to be held responsible.
“It might have been an unfortunate accident, but there was a lot of stuff leading up to [the blast]. If it was handled correctly, this would not have happened,” Mezher said.
He urged people who want to help to donate to the Lebanese Red Cross.