Sometimes we all get a bit obsessed with “how important” we all are and equally “how busy” that makes us. COVID this year, has, one hopes, for all its dreadful downsides, at least helped everyone focus again on what is truly important and how humanity is far better when it pulls together, rather than concentrating on division and dispute.

The tragic events that followed the explosion in Beirut’s harbour in August were another sharp shock to the system in a 2020 that many will be glad to forget. However, perhaps one of the more unknown responses to that crisis has been that of the glass industry, where humanitarian efforts have seen rapid responses to help re-build the area.

For example, a shipment of high-quality glass from Dubai was sent to Beirut, Lebanon, to help repair 700 flats, homes and shops that were destroyed in the blasts.

A charitable initiative by Dubai Investments (DI), the relief included several containers of glass that can replace hundreds of window panels that the massive explosion had shattered as it tore through the city and killed nearly 200 people.

The aid was arranged by the DI’s subsidiaries, Emirates Float Glass and Emirates Glass, and shipped in coordination with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
Besides glass, 1.4 tonnes of emergency medical supplies were also sent to Beirut by another DI subsidiary, Globalpharma.

The relief package, which included medicines, sanitisers and face masks, aimed to support efforts to fight Covid-19 in Lebanon’s capital, help treat those wounded in the blast, and replenish the supplies that had been depleted because of the tragedy.

Khalid Bin Kalban, vice-chairman and CEO of Dubai Investments, said: “In line with the ‘UAE Volunteers’ campaign and the urgent national humanitarian initiative called ‘From UAE For Lebanon’, we are trying to make the best use of the resources through all our group companies to support and strengthen the Lebanese economy and its people. We shall continue to assess the situation and evaluate what additional assistance we can provide as a group.”

It has not just been the immediate region that has responded either. Throughout September the tragic explosion at the port of Beirut, Bangladesh has been upping its aid for Lebanon’s capital city. 

Responding to a request from Lebanon, the South Asian country has sent 3,360 kilograms (over 3 tonnes) of glassware as emergency aid. 

According to local media the Lebanese government made a request through the Bangladesh Embassy in Beirut, to send glassware to help recover the damages caused by the explosion.

It is good to know that when needed, the glass industry is still able to respond to difficulty. A lesson for us all perhaps?

Happy reading!

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