A 29-year-old woman being filmed in her bridal gown in a courtyard in Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday was thrown to the ground when a massive explosion took place at the city’s port, killing at least 135 people and injuring thousands.
The video of Israa Seblani went viral on social media, and in an interview following her escape she thanked God for protecting her and her loved ones.
— رشـــــــــــــا🇱 (@RaShalhoub) August 4, 2020
“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,” Seblani said in a Reuters article. “This alone makes me feel optimistic and to keep the joy of the occasion that I came here to celebrate.”
Reuters reported on the aftermath of the blast and the wedding plans:
Seblani, a doctor working in the United States, helped to check on the injured nearby, before fleeing central Beirut’s Saifi square to safety.
A day later, she and her husband Ahmad Subeih, 34, a businessman in Beirut, were struggling to process what happened.
“I have been preparing for my big day for two weeks and I was so happy like all 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,” she told Reuters.
“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?” Seblani said.
In a photo of the bride taken in her regular clothes following the harrowing experience, shattered glass can be seen in the background and crushed flowers on banquet tables readied for the wedding celebration and then abandoned.
Subeih told Reuters about revisiting the damaged hotel on Wednesday to get their belongings and passports.
“The scene in the room was unbelievable,” he said.
Reuters reported that Subeih is still awaiting a U.S. visa that will allow him to join his wife in the U.S.
“Seblani loves Lebanon, but feels that after Tuesday’s blast, living there is not an option,” the article said.
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