One man's journey to heal the scars of Beirut's blast

Shady Rizk is one of thousands who were wounded in the Beirut blast.

| Beirut explosion, Lebanon, Middle East

In the days that followed the Beirut port explosion, Shady Rizk played a video he had taken on his phone again and again.

Filmed from the balcony of his office directly opposite the port, it shows flames and smoke rising from what were burning explosives. Suddenly there is a huge bang, flying glass and the screen goes to dark.

Amid howls from wounded colleagues, he heard the office phone ring. Temporarily blinded, he reached for it, only to hear a customer calling to complain about internet speed.

"We are dying here. Please call the ambulance," he shouted. Now he says he is grateful for that call, because it helped him find the phone to ring home.

"It was my sister who picked up, I told her I was dying, to send my regards to everyone... and to stay on the line."

Rizk survived, with 350 stitches across his face and body, and enduring problems with his vision.

When plastic surgeon Joe Baroud finally removed the stitches on Shady's face, they agreed he would never be quite the same again.

"There are no scars that completely disappear, of the soul or of the flesh," said Baroud, who treated dozens of people who suffered facial scars in the blast, which killed around 200 people. "Time will heal, but it will not be normal skin. Never."

This video was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed's Hassan Ghani.

Source: Al Jazeera

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