A week after the Beirut explosion that devastated offices of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) and Environment and Development magazine, and incurred thousands of victims, Secretary General Najib Saab sent a letter to AFED community, confirming the continuation of the online publishing of Environment and Development magazine and the programs scheduled for the forum.

He pointed out that work continues on AFED thirteenth annual report, on Health and the Environment in Arab Countries, which is scheduled to be launched in a virtual conference to be held at the American University of Beirut in November.

Here is the text of the message:   “Amongst the debris which engulfs the buildings and streets of Beirut, and in spite of the huge losses in human lives, thousands of wounded, and over hundred thousand homeless families, I send this message to our community to apprise them of what is going on. AFED staff had left their offices minutes before the horrendous explosion, and with the Grace of God, no injuries were sustained.

AFED offices, however, were among others severely damaged, as well as residences of a number of our staff living in Beirut.   We received several messages from AFED trustees, members, sponsors, associates and individuals inquiring about staff and expressing their support. These encouraging messages give us hope that AFED activities are well appreciated by its community.

It is heartening to note that despite the horror, pain and damage which took place on that date, AFED staff returned to their offices the next day to help clean the debris and resume operations under adverse conditions. A week after the disaster, we are trying our best to resume normal daily work as soon as circumstance permit, thanks to the dedicated efforts of our staff and their commitment.

We are doing this between broken walls, windows, doors, ceiling panels and collapsing ducts. Our internet networks, servers and archive remained intact, which helped resume work on the new AFED report and continue daily updates on our portal uninterrupted. Repair of material damage is expected to take a long time.  

The continuity of AFED mission depends largely on the support of all of you, and we call upon AFED community to come forward and help us in carrying out our activities.

Needless to say that we continue preparing for AFED virtual conference which is still scheduled for 10-11 November at the American University of Beirut, in association with other regional centers, where AFED report: Health and the Environment in Arab Countries will be released and discussed.”  

Below some photos: