‘The Piano Is Good, I Am Happy’ – In The Aftermath Of The Blast Which Destroyed So Much Of Beirut, This Moving Video Has Gone Viral

When May Abboud Melki, 78, returned to her home of 60 years, she found everything destroyed - except her treasured piano

piano-video-goes-viral-beirut

by Anna Silverman |
Updated on

As heart-breaking images of death and destruction in Beirut fill newspapers and social media feeds, one video has goneviral for showing a moment of beauty and calm amid the grief.

May Abboud Melki, 78, who lives in Beirut, was lucky enough to be away last night when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded in a warehouse causing an enormous blast near to where she lives, which has killed at least 135 people and injured more than 4,000.

This morning, she rushed back to the city that has always been her home to see what was left of the apartment that she has lived in for 60 years.

The piano has always been the place she has let out her emotions.

Her daughter-in-law, Hoda Melki, 52, came with her, as she knew it would be traumatising: the windows were blown out, there was glass everywhere and the place was completely destroyed. Everything, that is, except her most treasured possession – the piano she has played since she was a little girl.

As they wept and grieved at the sight of their beloved city among rubble, May sat down at her piano and began to play. As she played, Hoda filmed her mother-in-law and uploaded it to social media. It immediately went viral, with hundreds of thousands of views, comments and retweets. This morning, supermodel Bella Hadid shared it.

‘The first thing she said after sitting down was “the piano is good. I am happy”,’ says Hoda of her mother-in-law. ‘She has played since she was a little girl. The piano has always been the place she has let out her emotions. It’s a very pivotal part of who she is. It evokes emotions for her of her missing her mother, who died long ago,’ she adds.

It seems apt, then, that she should play at a time when so many are grieving for their own relatives. The video has become a poignant symbol of love and loss during the atrocity. She played song after song among the debris and glass; framed pictures of her grandchildren, which were on top of the piano, and pages of piano music were smashed and scattered around her feet.

A two-week state of emergency has begun in Beirut and hundreds of people are searching for loved ones still thought to be buried in the rubble. Hospitals are at capacity.

“If she had been home when it happened she wouldn’t have survived,’ says Hoda.

‘Everything is in pieces. Their apartment is very close to the explosion. My husband and I are so thankful they were not in their apartment when it happened.’

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