Sat, 25 Sep 2021

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Working at a hospital close to the Beirut port, Zeinoun did not expect a picture of her on the day of the explosion could touch hearts around the world.

by Dana Halawi

BEIRUT, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- One year after the deadly explosions rocked the Beirut port, Pamela Zeinoun, the 26-year-old nurse who saved the lives of three babies, voiced her two expectations.

"I hope we can bring justice to people who were affected by the explosions, and those who lost their beloved ones can somehow be relieved," Zeinoun said.

Meanwhile, she expected future generations would not experience the same awful circumstances that Lebanese are currently suffering.

On Aug. 4, 2020, the Beirut port was hit by two big explosions, destroying a big part of Beirut, killing over 200 people, and injuring more than 6,000 others.

Estimated as one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions recently, the explosions had a major impact on the country's economy while plunging lots of people into psychological distress.

© Provided by Xinhua

Working at Saint George Hospital close to the Beirut port, Zeinoun did not expect a picture of her on the day of the explosion could touch hearts around the world. In the picture, she was seen holding three newborn babies close to her chest, while making a phone call.

"Those babies were the first thing I thought of at the moment of the explosion. I had lived with these babies every single day for one month and could not even imagine for a moment that I'd leave the place without them," Zeinoun recalled.

Then she managed to pull the three babies from incubators before a long and hard journey of running out of the hospital, along with one father and his baby who were on the same floor.

"The electric power was out given the magnitude of the explosion. It was dark in there, and the sound of the alarm was so high that it was barely possible to hear the frightened people screaming when they were trying to find the way out," Zeinoun said.

"It was a horrible experience," she added.

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After reaching the hospital's ground floor a few minutes later, Zeinoun realized how hard it was to find emergency medical care at the intensive care units of the hospital filled with injured doctors and cadavers.

"I figured out I only had one choice: to look for another hospital where I can place the babies in incubators to guarantee their survival until they are found by their parents," said Zeinoun.

The roads were covered by debris, so she had to walk for five kilometers to reach another hospital.

"You cannot imagine how relieved I felt when I was sure that the babies were safe. I felt they were my responsibility," she added.

One year after the catastrophic explosions, the horrific image still haunted Zeinoun.

"Several days after the incident, I still could not believe what had happened. I lost a lot of weight as I could not eat or sleep," she said.

© Provided by Xinhua

Currently doing her Master's degree in Hospitals Management at the Lebanese German University, Zeinoun had received multiple job offers from Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Kuwait, given her bravery and courage.

"I don't want to leave my country. We've already lived through the worst moments," she said, expecting for a better future.

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