CALIFORNIA — As a result of the August 4 explosion in Beirut, chair of the Los Angeles Beirut Sister Cities Committee and westside local is requesting the community to raise relief funds on GoFundMe as of Wednesday, August 5.

The primary goal of LA Beirut Sister Cities Committee is to raise at least $100,000 to provide aid to anyone affected by this tragedy. The money will be directly sent to the American University of Beirut Medical Center for the funds to get supplies and other required needs. The explosion resulted in 137 casualties and injured over 5,000 people. The blast initially originated in the port warehouse with a mass of explosive material with faulty technical errors. As the explosion occurred, it destroyed multiple neighborhoods, causing damage up to six miles away.

“Imagine the trauma that you get from such an explosion. I mean I lived through the war before I came here and I can recall the impact of jets, the impact of explosions, the impact of snipers, and with all of that the city survived,” stated Wafa Hoballah, Board Chair of LA Beirut Sisters Cities Committee to the Santa Monica Daily Press. “I’ve been crying yesterday and all day today. We are bleeding and we are realizing that this country is no longer the same.”

The LA Beirut Sisters Cities Committee was initially established in 2006 to form a connection between the city of Los Angeles and Beirut. The sisterly ties were initiated on August 27, 2005, by former LA council member Dennis Zine and Council President Eric Garcetti, the current 42nd mayor of Los Angeles.

Aside from the recent explosion, the Lebanese were already faced with the pandemic, financial crisis, food shortages and protests over the corrupt government. In the previous year, the Lebanese dollar had lost 85 percent of its value so every American dollar is extremely valuable. Small donations will go a long way in aiding the city’s recovery. The link to the GoFundMe: