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Saskatoon community supporting local Lebanese restaurant after Beirut explosion

The Lebanese Kitchen located on Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon.
The Lebanese Kitchen located on Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon. Brady Ratzlaff/ Global News

The owner of the Lebanese Kitchen in Saskatoon has been overwhelmed with support from residents in the Bridge City.

Nearly two dozen people have come to the Lebanese Kitchen over the past week to drop off flowers, say a prayer or give their condolences after the devastating explosion in Beirut on Aug. 4.

A vase of flowers given to the Lebanese restaurant by a resident.
A vase of flowers given to the Lebanese restaurant by a resident. Brady Ratzlaff/ Global News

“This is to me, it is worth more to me than anything else,” said Lebanese Kitchen owner Najib Jomha. “You feel like you are one of the community and the community is very concerned with one another.”

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Jomha has lived in Canada since 1971.

Read more: A New Brunswick man was FaceTiming with his family in Beirut. Then came the explosion

He says his family and relatives live in Lala, Lebanon. It’s roughly 72 kilometres (southeast) from Beirut.

Jomha says because of Lala’s location in the mountains, his family didn’t experience any aftermath from the explosion. They just heard it.

But a lot of families were not so fortunate. Over 100 people were killed and thousands were injured.

“It was shocking,” said Jomha. “It is beyond imagining when you see the explosion.”

He says even though he is thousands of miles away it was a very dramatic experience.

“I was very sympathetic for the people who got hit,” Jomha said. “They paid the heavy price for their families, and their children and their wives and husbands.”

Read more: Beirut explosion: Montreal group organizes clothing drive for disaster relief

Jomha says the restaurant is looking into starting accepting donations from the community, which would go directly to help people affected by the blast.

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