100% of profits raised from the limited-edition tees support relief efforts in Lebanon following the deadly explosion on Aug. 4

By Hanna Flanagan
August 19, 2020 02:29 PM
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Credit: Zuhair Murad/Instagram

Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad is giving back to his home country after an explosion in the capital city of Beirut killed at least 135 people and injured thousands more on Aug. 4.

Murad — who has designed red carpet looks for celebrities including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Priyanka Chopra — is selling T-shirts embossed with the shadow of a phoenix and the words “Rise from the Ashes.” The unisex fitted tees retail for $25.99 and are available in both black and white on represent.com/beirut.

The powerful phrase become a slogan of hope for the Lebanese people in the wake of the tragedy, which Lebanon officials have blamed on a fire that ignited thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate stored inside a waterfront warehouse.

Murad announced on Instagram that 100% of profits raised from the limited-edition shirt will support relief efforts through a Lebanese humanitarian organization called Offre Joie — and his famous friends are showing support for the initiative.

Courteney Cox, Sofia Vergara, Alessandra Ambrosio, Devon Windsor and Shanina Shaik have all posted photos of themselves wearing the statement tees on Instagram, raising awareness about the deadly blast and explaining the charity component of the launch in the caption.

"Join me and my dear friend @zuhairmuradprivate @zuhairmuradofficial in helping the people of Beirut who have lost so much in this devastating tragedy," Ambrosio said on Instagram. "100% of the profits from this limited edition tee support the relief efforts of Offrejoie who are on the ground responding to humanitarian needs. Please join us and get yours at represent.com/beirut (link to buy in bio) #RiseFromTheAshes."

On Aug. 4, a warehouse that authorities say stored “highly explosive materials” was the site of a massive explosion that left scores of Lebanese citizens dead and thousands of others injured.

The explosion hit Beirut’s seaport and was reportedly felt as far as 150 miles away in Cyprus, according to multiple media reports. The blast caused extensive damage, destroying buildings, malls and entire blocks of the city.

Footage of the terrifying scene went viral on social media, with many videos showing a plume of smoke spewing from a building near Beirut's waterfront before a sudden large explosion rips apart the surrounding area. Video following the explosion showed rubble and broken glass along with the city's streets, with people scrambling to leave the area.

Photo captured by Hussein Charafeddine
| Credit: Hussein Charafeddine

The ammonium nitrate that caused the explosion at the port had been left abandoned for at least six years, after it was confiscated from a Russian-owned cargo ship, The New York Times reported.

Local customs officials managing the port had written to the Lebanese government on at least six occasions between 2014-17, according to the Times, asking officials how they should dispose of the material or where they should relocate it.

Prior to the blast, Lebanon was already facing political and civil unrest. Since October 2019, Lebanese people have been organizing and demanding change as they face high unemployment, a lack a resources, electoral fraud and the third highest inflation rate in the world.

On August 10, Lebanon’s government resigned. According to the Times, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a televised address, "We are taking a step back to stand with the people, to wage the battle for change with them."