A clip of an elderly woman playing the piano in her house despite being surrounded by debris and devastation following the explosion in Beirut, is being widely shared on social media.
The video was recorded after the huge blast ripped through the port area of the Lebanese capital on Tuesday and damaged property and injured people for miles. The poignant footage shows the woman calmly playing “Auld Lang Syne” on a piano in a room that was wrecked by the shockwave from the blast.
The mask-clad woman is seen playing the piano even as others are seen cleaning the room. The video was widely shared on social media, and Facebook user May Abboud Melki said it was her 79-year-old grandmother who featured in the clip.
Watch the video here:
Melki told The Guardian that the footage was recorded a day after the blast, which has killed over 100 in the city and injured another 5000.
She told CBS News that her grandmother “pushed through her pain and found peace and hope at the keys of the only undamaged item” as she played the song on the 60-year-old piano.
According to Melki, her grandmother wasn’t home when the blast occurred and both grandparents were safe. However, their shop was severely damaged and their home of 60 years was in shambles.
“It survived the entire civil war… It witnessed bullets go through it,” Melki told CNN. “They have rebuilt themselves over and over again.”
Melki said her grandmother started by playing the classic song and then moved on to other Arabic hymns, which the volunteers assisting with the cleanup joined in.
“To see her lean into her faith, lean into God was something that was a strong message to her community and our family immediately,” her granddaughter said.
Melki said she shared the clip because she felt it “was able to express a symbol of hope and peace among all of the despair”.
Here’s how people reacted to the video:
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My eyes and heart are crying for you Lebanon. Over 150 people dead , thousands injured or missing… I am sorry you have to endure this kind of disaster my brothers and sisters…I will be sending donations to the Lebanese Red Cross, as well as ALL of the smaller organizations in Beirut from the last slide of this post. I hope you will join me. 300,000 people have been displaced and have become homeless. This explosion is coming during one of the hardest times for Lebanon in history… with an unprecedented economic crisis and famine, political unrest , homelessness , the pandemic and the unemployment rate plummeting , we NEED to support the people of Lebanon. Helping from within, through these smaller organizations can help pin point what necessities are most needed and where they can be sent, exactly. We need to continue to speak on this crisis, #PRAYFORLEBANON but most importantly , We need to collectively support immediate humanitarian relief. Stand UP and stand TOGETHER. I love you all out there. Beirut – I am wrapping you in a golden blanket of light and strength. I see you and support you. I am sorry. ❤️🇱🇧 ❤️ ارك الله فيك…
Like the band on the Titanic. Probably calming to the neighborhood, too.
— Kerry Carlson (@wrongwayjones) August 5, 2020
Incredibly poignant and powerful video showing a grandmother in Beirut playing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ on the piano while surrounded by the devastation of the explosion 💔 https://t.co/KZHuGQOrQ2
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) August 5, 2020
Melody of hope from #Beirut:
Her home was damaged by the explosion, but she did not lose hope.
She is playing beautifully on her piano, in a room full of fragments and shattered glass caused by the explosion.
— Inbar Cohen (@InbarCohen13) August 5, 2020
This woman playing the piano in the midst of the rubble in Lebanon reminded me of the scene in Titanic when the band plays music calmly while the ship is sinking. Hope. Hope. Hope. Hope in the middle of the ashes. #lebanon #beirut pic.twitter.com/w7n1yJN3VY
— Najwa Zebian (@najwazebian) August 5, 2020
Such a heartfelt moment ❤️ This lady is playing the piano in the midst of chaos, signifying that we mustn’t give up ❤️🇱🇧 #LebanonExplosion #lebanon #Beirut #لبنان #لبنان_منكوب #لبنان_ينفجر #بيروت_في_قلوبنا pic.twitter.com/uTvRDhiaIK
— петра Ghraizy | 🇱🇧 (@PetraGhraizy) August 5, 2020
Music is the best medicine against any stress and gives hope even in the worst situations.
— Vesna Vukadinovic (@Vesna06769283) August 5, 2020
This woman makes my heart take flight. Amidst all that distraction she found beauty in her heart.
— Doug (@doug2209) August 5, 2020
Wisdom of the elderly! Calming her soul down at the time of crises! ❤️👍🙏😢
— Hoda Mohtar-Mateyk (@GolferLady17) August 5, 2020
At 79 she must’ve seen a lot, a lot worst than just an explosion. Life means nothing to her anymore. She can be happy at any situation. My condolence to the people of Lebanon.
— omar baffa (@Omar78657010) August 6, 2020
This is hauntingly beautiful. I hope there is swift relief that comes to those who need it. Care for one another and see each other through this and you’ll come out at the other end stronger than you could ever imagine.
— Harrison Hansen (@5trisk) August 5, 2020
This video of an elderly Lebanese woman playing the piano while surrounded by broken glass and rubble at her home in Beirut captures the human spirit well because no matter what 2020 throws at us, we must rise to… https://t.co/nluVRrO4lC
— Timothy Sykes (@timothysykes) August 5, 2020
Wow …. this unexpectedly tugged on the oul heart strings https://t.co/WLIYpFXp3v
— Mary K Burke (@MKBurke1) August 5, 2020
Words written by Robert Burns to a traditional Scots melody at @Burns_Ellisland in 1788, resonate around a devastated family home in Beirut. The human spirit is a hard thing to extinguish. But what terrible suffering the people of this city have experienced. https://t.co/zHtkn1yBDw
— Joan McAlpine (@JoanMcAlpine) August 5, 2020
Beautifully harrowing 💔 https://t.co/VJzIJ4FPbp
— Stefan Hoggan-Radu (@stefanhoggan) August 5, 2020
— Dr Gary Tanner (@DrGaryTanner) August 5, 2020