“I was shocked and surprised at what’s going on, we thought it was fake news,” said Pastor Father Elie Zouein of Saint Charbel’s Parish in Fredericton.
The ignition of a 2,750-tonne stockpile of ammonium nitrate at a portside facility is responsible for the explosion. It had been sitting at the Beirut port for more than six years.
“It was really sad to seeing all those people die and all those injured too,” said Georgy Kreidi.
Janet Kreidi, Georgy’s sister, agrees.
“It really got me in shock because Beirut is a very beautiful place to go. Last year I went to Lebanon and I love that place,” she said.
The blast on Aug 4., devastated much of the city including its port, killing more than 160 and injuring almost 6,000.
The explosion created a shockwave so powerful it was felt as far away as the island of Cyprus, more than 200 kilometres (180 miles) across the Mediterranean.
Georgy and Janet’s father, Pierre Kreidi, moved to Canada from Lebanon in 1987 during the Lebanese Civil War. He said the family he left behind needs help.
“The houses, there is no doors, no windows, there is no running water, no electricity and there is 300,000 people that stay on the street,” said Pierre.
WATCH: A deep dive into the chemical compound behind the blasts
As the days go on after the explosion, there have been protests and increased widespread outrage with the country’s political leaders and security agencies.
“We need good leadership, all is corrupted,” said Zouein.
“The problem is if I don’t like you, I arrest you. This is not a democratic country,” said Pierre Kreidi.
Donations can be sent to the Red Cross and the Lebanese community of Fredericton is now asking the federal government to bring the displaced people in Beirut to Canada.
“Maybe get them a place in Canada so they can feel safe just like us right now,” said Janet Kreidi.