Among the many terrifying visuals of the Beirut blast shared on social media, there was a distressing video of a radiant bride posing for her wedding shoot. Dressed in a long white gown and veil, 29-year-old Lebanese bride Israa Seblani’s smile turned into shock when the deafening roar of the blast followed by a powerful shockwave nearly blew her off her feet, reports News18.
The entire sequence of the happy event turning into a panicky situation was captured by the person recording her wedding shoot. Seblani, a doctor working in the United States, had arrived in Beirut three weeks earlier to prepare for her special day. However, after the explosion, she fled to safety after helping to check on the injured nearby at central Beirut’s Saifi square.
A day after the explosion, she and her husband Ahmad Subeih, 34, a businessman in Beirut, still struggled to process what happened. She was quoted saying by India Today, “I have been preparing for my big day for two weeks and I was so happy like all the other girls, ‘I am getting married’. My parents are going to be happy seeing me in a white dress, I will be looking like a princess.” She added,
“What happened during the explosion here – there is no word to explain…I was shocked, I was wondering what happened, am I going to die? How am I going to die?”
WATCH: This Lebanese wedding photographer captured a bride and groom getting married just as a massive explosion rocked #Beirut.
The couple were unharmed in the blast and took refuge in a house before continuing their ceremony pic.twitter.com/0bMtt2OWC7
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) August 5, 2020
Behind her lay piles of smashed glass from the blown-out windows of the hotel where she was due to stay along with crushed remnants of flower arrangements from the banquet tables. Subeih recalled the horrific aftermath of the blast, “We started to walk around and it was extremely sad, it was not describable the devastation and the sound of the explosion,” he said. “We are still in shock…I have never heard anything similar to the sound of this explosion.” She further said,
“I feel so sad about what happened to other people, about what happened to Lebanon. When I woke up and saw the damage that happened to Beirut, the one thing I said was thank God we are still alive.”
After the blast, she and her husband tried to get a hold on themselves so that they could carry on with their celebrations. She said, “My husband told me to continue, we can’t stop. I was like okay, why not, we continue. I was not living the moment actually, I was like walking, my face was smiling, my lips were smiling, that’s it, not more. Then we went to have dinner.”
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 6, 2020
Subeih was shocked to see her room when she went to the damaged hotel to retrieve belongings and passports. Seblani, whose husband is waiting for a visa to the United States, says living in Beirut is not an option anymore.
Trying to keep up her spirits, she said, “There is a lot of damage, many people were killed and wounded. But also if I want to look at us, myself, my husband, the photographer – how we escaped unharmed, I thank God for protecting us. This alone makes me feel optimistic and to keep the joy of the occasion that I came here to celebrate.”
Well, while we’re glad that the bride and groom are safe, we pray for the safety of all the others in Beirut.