Moroccans in Lebanon addressed an open letter to King Mohammed VI to ask him help them return home.
Rabat – The Moroccan Embassy in Lebanon has announced that Morocco will repatriate citizens wishing to return home after a devastating explosion in Beirut killed at least 154, affecting thousands of lives and adding to the city’s long-standing crises.
The embassy published a few Facebook posts, announcing its decision to make a flight available to repatriate citizens wishing to travel back to Morocco.
One of the posts provided a link to a laboratory that gives PCR tests for COVID-19 within six hours.
The embassy said that beneficiaries have the right to a 23 Kg suitcase and a small handbag.
The flight will come to Beirut and should depart to the Airport of Casablanca.
Children should have permission to travel from their guardians.
The embassy said it will organize two flights on Friday to repatriate Moroccans wishing to return.
Other conditions include PCR test results within 48 hours.
Children less than 11 will not be subject to the tests.
Citizens should call the embassy or contact the representation through [email protected].
Authorities, meanwhile, insist on the COVID-19 test requirement. “Anyone who does not have a PCR test cannot travel,” said the embassy.
People meeting the requirements should go to the airport of Beirut at 7 p.m. local time.
The decision comes amid deepening crises for Lebanon and Beirut residents. According to official estimates, the Beirut explosion claimed 154, lives, injured more than 4,000, and left at least 300,000 facing homelessness.
Morocco’s embassy announced one serious injury among Moroccans, namely a woman who works at the UN office in Beirut.
The woman suffered fractures in one of her feet.
There were also a few Moroccans who suffered minor injuries.
Majda El Krami, a Moroccan woman who suffered a shocking experience during the explosion shared her story with Morocco World News.
El Karami told MWN that she was watching TV with one of her children, while her other son was playing video games.
“We thought it was an earthquake. I hurried to bring my kids under the table, because I thought there would be a second earthquake after the first.”
El Karami said that she was one kilometer away from the explosion.
“My house was destroyed. We left it because we cannot stay there. Heavy doors were removed due to the strength of the explosion.”
El Karami said that the child that was with her was not visibly harmed, but her other son sustained injuries as he was next to a glas that shattered due to the explosion.
“He was covered with blood,” the Moroccan woman said.
El Karami’s child had 16 stitches in his mouth and others in his leg.
The two children, who are 7 years old, are twins, she explained.
With a cracking voice, El Majda said that she went to the embassy to give her details a week before the incident.
“To be honest, they never asked if we were ok. I sent a message to the ambassador after the explosion to let him know that we are safe and he will never get back to me,” the woman said.
She said she still does not know how she and her sons survived the incident since she was only 800 meters away from the explosion site.
Commenting on Morocco’s initiative to repatriate its citizens, El Karami told MWN that the embassy’s move is not effective.
“How can you make a decision at midnight and ask people to have PCR test results as soon as possible and join the airport at 7 p.m. of the same day,” El Karami said.
The woman said that most Moroccans in Beirut cannot meet these requirements.
“Tests are pretty expensive, you will have to go to hospitals that are stuck with COVID-19 cases to make this happen. How can you meet such requirements in 18 hours?”
Open letter from Moroccans in Lebanon
Moroccans in Lebanon addressed an open letter to King Mohammed VI, asking him to intervene immediately to help them return home.
“In light of these harsh conditions, and in the absence of any reaction from the Moroccan government to find a solution for its citizens residing in Lebanon…. the Moroccan community residing in Lebanon makes a special request to his Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him and support him, by urgently intervening and providing a plane to evacuate Moroccan women, their children and their husbands,” the open letter underlined.
On Thursday, King Mohammed VI ordered his government to send eight flights loaded with medical aid to help victims of the Beirut explosion.
The medical equipment includes emergency medication and disaster relief packages. Morocco will also set up a military hospital field to assist the victims. The field will include 100 medical staff, including 14 doctors.
In addition, Morocco also sent a batch of medical equipment for COVID-19, including masks, visors, and medicines.