A video of a woman playing Auld Lang Syne on the piano amid the debris of her apartment following the explosion in Beirut on Tuesday, has gone viral, capturing the damage, pain and resilience of residents.
May Abboud Melki played the song for her family as they calmly worked on the cleanup. The windows are destroyed. Debris is everywhere. Curtains have fallen. There’s a wedding photo that appears to have remained intact.
She wears a COVID mask while playing, a reminder that this city is also facing the pandemic.
The pianist’s granddaughter May-Lee Meliki shared the video on social media, describing it as “beauty from the ashes” and said her grandmother had been “pushing through her pain”
The death toll from Tuesday’s explosion is currently 137, with dozens still missing. More than 5000 have been injured, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. And Beirut authorities estimate a staggering 250,000 people could have lost their homes.
The explosion is believed to have occurred in a warehouse that had been storing ammonium nitrate.
Australia has pledged $2 million in aid. Other countries have also pledged financial support, supplies, equipment and direct help.
Auld Lang Syne roughly translates to “for old times sake”.