A popular fabric and interiors company in Lebanon has vowed to help residents left living in homes with broken windows and ripped-open facades.
Following two massive blasts in Beirut's port on Tuesday evening, which killed more than 130 people, an estimated 300,000 people have been left homeless. Buildings have been shattered into rubble across the city and many homes have no working windows and doors.
Skaff, a fabric business founded in Lebanon, has offered to donate free textiles to residents living in destroyed homes.
"We'd seen that so many people had lost their windows, their doors, their whole facade, and they have nothing to cover up their houses and their interiors with," Cynthia Saab, an interior consultant at Skaff, told The National. "Some of these people are sleeping in an open house."
"We’ve had so many enquiries, people are calling at midnight, they are calling early in the morning, people are crying over the phone, we’ve got so many requests," said Saab. "We are gathering the stock available right now in our warehouse, and seeing the quantity that can be given to people in need. Hopefully we can help as many people as we can."
"To our beloved Lebanese community, if your windows are shattered and you cannot replace the glass, we are donating our fabric as an interim cover-up if you need it," the company posted on its Instagram account on Wednesday. Skaff added two WhatsApp numbers that people in need of fabric can contact, which you can find here.
The family-owned business, established in 1965 by Georges Skaff, sells fabrics and furniture, and offers interior design and upholstery services.
Three of the business's Beirut stores were damaged in the blast, which has left more than 4,000 in the Lebanese capital injured.
"All our staff are OK, alhamdulillah," Saab told us. "We have three branches that have been damaged, mostly the Ashrafieh branch as that is close to the area of the blast."
Following the explosion, Skaff staff on Wednesday came up with the idea of donating fabric to those in need, because people are facing a long wait to get their windows replaced or walls fixed.
The company hopes to start delivering textiles to residents within the next 24 hours.
Aircrafts carrying emergency aid from the US and France are expected to arrive in Lebanon on Thursday. The aid will be substantial and directed to Lebanese relief organisations, not the government, sources said.
Egypt says it has already opened a field hospital in the Lebanese capital to receive the wounded and relieve pressure on the damaged and stretched local health services. Jordan's Royal Court announced it was flying in a military field hospital, and all necessary personnel, to Beirut on Wednesday to help.
A plane carrying 40 tonnes of medical equipment was due to take off from Dubai on Wednesday to help Beirut's hospitals treat thousands of wounded patients.
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud said the damage from the blast extended across half the city and is estimated to cost as much as $15 billion (Dh55 billion).