Hayat Nazer was on her way to Beirut on August 4 when a massive stockpile of ammonium nitrite exploded at the port, killing 190 people, injuring more than 6,000 and leaving more than 300,000 displaced from their homes.
Nazer doesn't remember a time when Lebanon was at peace. But she has learned to channel her grief and pain into beautiful works of art.
And like many residents, she joined efforts to clean debris and restore the city to its former glory. That's when she got the idea to use some of what she found to create a statue that could inspire her people to unite and rebuild.
For weeks, Nazer walked the streets of Beirut, collecting twisted metal, broken glass and people's discarded belongings to use in the sculpture.
"I traveled to people's homes after they were destroyed by the explosion and told them, 'I just want you to give me anything I can include to make you a part of my sculpture,'" Nazer said.
"I was shocked. People gave me such valuable things -- things from their childhood, their grandparents who died in the civil war, things they wanted to save for their children. So many emotions went into this."
When Nazer finally had enough items, she put them together -- creating a woman raising Lebanon's flag, her hair and dress flowing in the wind. The sculpture, which still doesn't have a name, even features a damaged clock stuck at 6:08, the moment of the explosion.
For Nazer, the process was cathartic. But it wasn't the first time she had created a work of art inspired by Lebanon's social and political troubles.
Her works include other found object sculptures, as well as graffiti and paintings on canvas.
Source: Alaa Elassar