All She Lost: The Explosion in Lebanon, the Collapse of a Nation and the Women who Survive
On August 4 2020, a huge explosion in the heart of Beirut killed hundreds of people – it is the apocalypse of a sequence of events that have led to Lebanon's unprecedented collapse. Journalist Dalal Mawad has interviewed tens of Lebanese and foreign women - victims of the explosion, and those stuck in Lebanon - and weaves an extraordinary story of survival, corruption and impunity.
Award-winning journalist Dalal Mawad was in Lebanon when the blast happened, and was one of the first journalists to report on the mysterious and devastating explosion.
During her reporting, she discovered something else – that it is the women who stay behind, and it is through their stories that the history of the Middle East must be re-constructed. She set out to record the stories of those she met, the women long discriminated against, and those whose stories are untold.
She spoke to mothers who lost their children on August 4, spouses who lost their partners, refugee women who have fled from the war in Syria – and who now find themselves in another failing state. We hear from the Lebanese grandmother, bankrupted by the small nation's collapse, who remembers Beirut's glory days of the 1960s – when the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Miles Davis came to Beirut. And then the women like Dalal herself, who have left their home behind.
The women in this book all experienced the explosion and suffered unimaginable loss and tragedy, but it is not just this one event that brings them together. Their personal stories converged to tell the story of a nation whose glory days are long gone, now riven by protracted violence, lurching from crisis to crisis, and fighting to survive. It tells not only of what these women have lost, but also what Lebanon has lost, and a part of the Middle East that is no more.