August 4, 2021
From The Public Source (Lebanon)

One of these victims’ names is Minerva.

Minerva was at home, 500 meters from the Beirut Port, when the explosion ripped through her house on August 4. Severely injured, she passed away eight days later. Amidst shock and mourning, her son Joseph is forced to navigate the absurdities and indignities of a bureaucratic and bankrupt system that refuses to recognize his mother as a victim of the blast.

This short documentary by writer and director Lucien Bourjeily was produced as part of the “Filming Catastrophe” program at Aflamuna, a nonprofit platform dedicated to independent Arab cinema. The film series, which began streaming on August 2, grapples with disaster: how to understand it, how to deal with it, and how to portray its effects on our souls. In partnership with Aflamuna, The Public Source is republishing Minerva, as part of our special issue “The Day That Never Ended: One Year Into August 4,” to spotlight the agonizing and enraging struggle that the families of the victims have braved over the past year while grieving their loved ones.

This film contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing and/or traumatizing.

The Public Source has compiled a publicly accessible document to try to identify every victim stolen from their loved ones from a year ago to this day. We took every measure possible to ensure that this list we are sharing is as accurate as can be in the absence of a complete and error-free official register.

This document is partly based on the only official tally from the Ministry of Public Health (last updated in September 2020), records of the Karantina Fire Brigade, the Anti-Racism Movement, and the interactive database Beirut 607. We also pored over social media posts, funeral announcements and obituaries, reports by the Syrian News Agency and other media outlets, and verified information from relevant embassies and hospitals.

If you are a family member or friend of a victim and would like to share information, please leave your contact information below and we will contact you as soon as possible.

To request a correction or submit new information, please email us at:

To send us a private tip securely and anonymously on anything related to the Beirut blast, please visit our whistleblowing page.

Stay tuned for our special issue, “The Day That Never Ended: One Year Into August 4” to be published over the next few days.

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