There will maybe come a day when Beirut might forgive us our trespasses.

Every time this city has been violated, it has been on us; just about every vileness it has endured has been because of us. We, the Lebanese, are fundamentally, deeply, inextricably guilty.

We are guilty of condoning the decay of a capital that the entire world has fantasized about: a bridge between two shores – East and West. A bridge that Arabs and Westerners alike have always aspired to cross with starry eyes and an open heart. We are guilty of having morphed this city of light(s) into a putrid and useless cesspool. We are guilty of having elected, validated and blindly followed a medley of politicians, warlords and militias most of whom are criminal, incompetent and abjectly corrupt. We granted them lifelong legitimacy and in return they sucked the lifeblood out of Lebanon over and over, time and again.

We, the Lebanese, are guilty of having been too resilient in the past and too resigned in the present.

Beirut imploded a year ago, nearly to the day. On August 4th 2020 at 6:08 p.m., the double explosion at the port – the 3rd largest non nuclear explosion in human history – indiscriminately killed and maimed thousands. It annihilated everything in its path. Whatever hope was left, was crushed in its wake, leading an entire generation of young and not-so-young Lebanese talents into yet another exile.

Lebanon has been cursed right to the core of its DNA throughout its lengthy history, and is now being bled dry at an unprecedented level by the vampires at its helm. Fortunately for the Lebanese, for the Arab world and for all those who adhere to St John Paul II’s description of Lebanon as being a message of fraternity, this DNA is double sided; it is both victim and executioner, wound and balm, illness and cure. At the very heart of this DNA lies hope, expectation and the renewed promise of dawn. Accordingly, no one is as fearlessly and genuinly committed to that promise as the Lebanese youth.

One year after Armageddon, FTA Pulse aims to be a resounding voice for all young stakeholders in the Lebanese fashion industry. They are rising stars armed with determination, dazzle, courage, vigor, creativity and rage. This rage is fruitful and witty, a weapon of mass (re)construction. Though they will never forgive nor forget, these young people will also never give up. Today, we share with you the life learnings of Azzi & Osta, and tomorrow, you will read the vivid testimonies of Hussein Bazaza, Roni Helou, Krikor Jabotian, Amine Jreissati, Jessica K., Sandra Mansour, Maya, Meena and Zeenat Mukhi, Eric-Mathieu Ritter (Emergency Room) and Elias Samia (Local Vice). Through their fortitude and bravery, these resistance fighters, along with their fellow citizens, have found a way to counter the monstors’ supremacy. Thanks to them, Beirut won another battle. Vampires disappear at daybreak: it is the promise of dawn.

What do you call it when, on a day like today, the sun rises, and all is destroyed? When everything is devastated but the air is still breathable? When everything is lost, the city is burning, innocent people are at each other’s throats yet culprits are agonizing in a place where the sun is rising? It has a beautiful name, it’s called dawn. This description by French author and diplomat Jean Giraudoux  should one day be added as an amendment to the Lebanese constitution.

Only then will the dominion of vampires come to an end.