A hundred people gathered in Sherbrooke on Sunday to pay tribute to the victims of the double explosion that afflicted the city of Beirut in Lebanon on Tuesday.
Many Sherbrooke residents of Lebanese origin spoke in front of the dozens of people gathered to express all the sadness that the event inspires in them.
Throughout this gathering, the atmosphere was one of meditation. A minute of silence punctuated the event to pay tribute to these thousands of victims.
Renda Elmir, the co-administrator of the Association des Libanais à Sherbrooke, says she misses her loved ones who remain in Lebanon. “We try to keep in touch, but it’s not always easyShe laments.
To this worry is added anger. Many are struggling to understand why fate continues to befall this country which has been hit hard in recent years.
Many citizens in attendance gave to support the residents of Beirut, particularly encouraged by Ottawa which announced that the amount of donations made by Canadians would be matched by the government.
The Beirut restaurant in Sherbrooke has decided to donate all of its profits made during the weekend to the Lebanese Red Cross.
«There are a lot of people in the restaurant, we can feel the support of the peopleSays owner Renda Elmir.
Liberal MP Élisabeth Brière, as well as city councilor Annie Godbout took part in the rally to show their support for the Lebanese community.
«We feel the friendship, the collaboration. that’s how we manage to get out of these difficult situations», Emphasizes Élisabeth Brière.
Their voice has been added to those of many Sherbrooke residents who say they have been greatly affected by this tragedy and who plead for change.
«It’s scary what happened. We are here to support the people so that they can free themselves and improve their quality of life, it is very important», Says a Sherbrooke resident who has shared her life with a Lebanese for twenty years now.
Request for an independent international investigation
Dr William Seeman, an adopted Sherbrooke resident, pleads for a change of custody in Lebanon, his country of origin.
He calls in particular for the holding of an independent international investigation in order to shed light on the causes and circumstances of this tragedy.
«If it’s an accident, it’s major negligence. If it is an attack, it is because the enemy has found something in Lebanon to attack, it is important that the State in Lebanon takes things in hand and governs in a sovereign way, which we do not not at the moment», He laments.
In front of MP Élisabeth Brière, he implored the federal government to support the holding of an investigation process that would be independent from the Lebanese government.
William Seeman continues to hope that from this devastating explosion a new Lebanon will emerge in which citizens can dream of a better future.