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1985: Vision of peace
On 8 March 1985 a massive car bomb exploded in a Shia Muslim suburb of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

More than 80 people died in the attack and hundreds more were injured.

Sania Abdul Malak heard the blast in her home, less than half a mile from the bomb site.

For some time the war seemed so far away. For a while I thought I was over it, but apparently this is not the case.

Even today, in the comfort of my small apartment in downtown Montreal, I can still hear the big blast. I can see the smoke and even smell the rubble.

The fear is real, the blood is real, the loss is devastating

I was 13 years at the time. I lived with my family only a couple of blocks away from the explosion scene.

I remember the horrific noise, the glass shattering in our apartment, and the shrieking screams when our neighbour got to know that she had lost her two daughters in the explosion.

Living through war is not like reading about it in newspapers or on the internet.

The fear is real, the blood is real, the loss is devastating and the scars are permanent.

It hurts to read about the war in Lebanon, as it hurts to read about any other war happening in any part of the world. What is wrong with the world?

If the people who are responsible for launching wars are obliged to spend one month among the helpless civilians in war zones then they might change their minds and maybe decide to stop the war.

I guess this is the 13-year-old girl in me dreaming of peace, but it is a sweet dream of a bright future for the children of Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Somalia and all countries suffering from war.

Living through 15 years of war makes me value peace, and hope that one day every single person on earth will be enjoying peace and dignity.

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Aftermath of the explosion
The explosion left a huge crater and killed more than 80 people

Sania Abdul Malak
Sania Abdul Malak lived only a couple of blocks from the blast
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