We are asking you to help us, by donating what you can to this crowdfund, and joining us on 22 August for an evening of pride, performance and love for Beirut, its people and its reconstruction. Rebuilding Beirut with Pride will be hosted at the Bell Pub in Whitechapel, and live-streamed all night for everyone to watch and take part in. From an art auction to a programme of performance, we want to celebrate Arab and queer art and talent and help rebuild our hometown in the process. Click here to buy your tickets for the event.
Where is the money going?
All proceeds will be equally split and donated to the Lebanese Red Cross, Beit El Baraka , Basmeh & Zeitooneh and Embrace Lebanon, as well as two grassroots LGBT+ crowdfunds, detailed below.
Beit El Baraka provide food banks for victims of the disaster, Basmeh & Zeitooneh are responding on the ground to those who have been made homeless, and Embrace Lebanon offers mental health support.
The NGOs were chosen after having direct discussions with several people within Lebanon itself who informed us of which organisations are trustworthy and are not affiliated with government authorities in any way, to ensure the money is directly going to support those in need first and foremost.
We have also identified two crowdfunds that have been strongly recommended to us by many members of Beirut's LGBTQ+ community, in that they are offering on-the-ground and direct support and are being led by trusted community members.
These crowdfunds are Disaster Relief for Lebanese Transgender Community , led by Lebanese trans pioneer Sasha Elijah, and Funds for LGBTQ Victims of Beirut Explosion , led by prominent community member Sandra Melhem.
The total sum raised will be split 6-way between these 6 beneficiaries, and receipts of these donations will be posted here for completely transparency.
Why are we fundraising?
Beirut is a disaster zone. On the 4th of August, the city was rocked by a colossal explosion involving 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate. To put things in perspective, it is one of the worse urban explosions since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The blast killed at least 157 people and injured 5,000. Hundreds remain missing. With the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, the explosion's shock wave enveloped Beirut, shattering windows and collapsing old buildings. Lebanon's hospitals - already overrun by coronavirus - are in dire need of support. Meanwhile, around 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Two of Beirut's LGBTQ+ hubs, Mar Mikhael and Gemmayze, were only 500m away from the point of detonation. These areas have been utterly devastated and, like many other parts of Beirut, are now uninhabitable.
The blast comes at the worse time for Lebanon, hitting a country already in disaster. Covid-19 exacerbated a pre-existing political and economic crisis, bringing the Lebanese to the brink of collapse. This year has seen thousands of Lebanese lose their lifetime savings and the country's hyper-inflated currency remains in free-fall. One in the three people are unemployed, while amongst Lebanon's poorest, famine is approaching. In short, your donations are needed. They will support those people immediately impacted by the explosion, but also Lebanese communities and families facing economic desolation. Please see below for which NGOs and groups we are donating to.
What's happening on the 22nd?
While we encourage you support us, share this page and ask all your friends to donate throughout the next two weeks, we have an exciting day planned to drum up even more donations! On 22 August there are two events you need to know about:
6:30PM: Art Auction (online)
We will be auctioning a collection of both Arab and Queer art, prints and designs, kindly donated by artists and designers from both the UK and Lebanon. More details to come, including some sneak peaks at some of the pieces! All proceeds will be added to the goal target. This will be an online auction so everyone can take part!
Interested? Put in your details here to keep up to date with the auction so you don't miss out on any information!
Are you an artist who would like to donate a piece to be included in the auction? Let us know here!
8:00PM: Performances (In person & live streamed)
Rebuilding Beirut with Pride will be hosted at the Bell Pub in Whitechapel, and live-streamed all night for everyone to watch. We have a line up of performers showcasing Arab and Queer talent with opportunities and activities to donate to the fund throughout the night. A full programme of the night will be released shortly.
We only have a limited number of 30 tickets for the in-person event and will be following strict social distancing measures, including table service and contactless payment.
But don't worry! We have 500 tickets available for our online live stream, where you can take part in the night.
Click here to buy your tickets for the event .
Who are we?
We are a group of Lebanese expats, friends, allies and activists who want to help however we can in rebuilding our home. We each work in different sectors (NGOs, journalism, fashion, music) and want to bring our passions, networks and resources together to help make real change back home.
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- Dalton Bradford
- CC Abisamra
- Gina Martin
- Laris Polat
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