Beirut: Among many terrifying visuals of the Beirut blast was that of a bride radiant in her long white gown and veil, posing for her wedding shoot. However, a deafening roar of the blast literally shattered everything there and even her wedding shoot.
The entire sequence of happy wedding shoot turning into a panicky situation was captured in 29-year-old Lebanese Israa Seblani's wedding shoot. A powerful shockwave nearly blows her off her feet.
Seblani, a doctor working in the United States, helped to check on the injured nearby, before fleeing central Beirut’s Saifi square to safety, the Reuters reported. She was getting married to Ahmad Subeih, 34, a businessman in Beirut, when the massive explosion rocked the city killing over a hundred people and injuring thousands.
“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 told Reuters.
“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?”
Behind her, piles of smashed glass from the blown-out windows of the hotel where she was due to stay littered the ground, along with crushed remnants of flower arrangements that had adorned banquet tables.
Seblani arrived in Beirut three weeks earlier to prepare for her wedding.
Subeih recalled the aftermath of the blast, which officials have blamed on a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.
“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.”
“I feel so sad about what happened to other people, about what happened to Lebanon,” added Seblani. “When I woke up and saw the damage that happened to Beirut, the one thing I said was thanking God we are still alive.”
After the blast, she and her husband tried to compose themselves and carry on with their celebrations.
“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 a walking, my face was smiling, my lips were smiling, that’s it, not more. Then we went to have dinner.”
Subeih recalls entering the damaged hotel on Wednesday to retrieve belongings and passports.
“The scene in the room was unbelievable,” he said.
He is waiting for a visa to the United States so he can join his wife there. Seblani loves Lebanon but feels that after Tuesday’s blast, living there is not an option.
She is still trying to find joy in a wedding she took so long to prepare.
“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.”