Nadine Yamout: "We will find a way forward"
Posted on 2020 Dec,22

The Beirut Port explosion on August 4, 2020 didn't spare any agency located in the Lebanese capital. Nadine Yamout, co-founder of The Brightside, wants to remain positive despite the huge blow to the company's finances and the many difficulties and the challenges ahead. She is confident that


Where were you on August 4 at 6:08 PM?
It was truly a miracle that we were not present at our office In Karantina, which got significantly destroyed when the blast occurred. Due to a Covid-19 case on another floor, the building management coincidentally decided to sanitize the building on that day.  I remember telling the rest of the team not to come in due to the sanitation, and that it would be better if we worked remotely.
That being said I was at home, where although I was powerfully jolted by the horrific shockwave, and seeing the mushroom cloud was absolutely terrifying, I am beyond thankful not to have been physically hurt, which is the most important thing.
 
What is your first impression upon seeing the damages and desolating scenery that affected your workspace and Beirut?
I was extremely distressed when I first saw the office in the shattered state it was in. I really couldn’t handle seeing what happened – it truly broke my heart. Seeing all that remained of our hard work from the last 10 years as piles of broken glass and rubble was too much for me to take.
It was especially hard to see that the wall next to where I would’ve likely been sitting at that moment had fallen inwards toward my chair, and my computer station was lying on the floor in a puddle from the burst water pipes.  
It had already been extremely challenging to keep a business afloat with the economic crisis and pandemic, that to see the office in such a devastating state felt quite defeating to me.
 
How is the morale? And what’s next for you and the company?
We are trying our best to stay positive – after all we are The Brightside. Positivity is one of our deepest core values and is in our nature. It was very heartwarming to see how all of our team members stepped up to help clear the rubble, support each other, and find ways to move things forward in any way they could. If anything, this brought us all even closer together with purpose.
Separately, we are also taking tangible steps to expand our business regionally, to better serve our clients and ensure a proper safety net for our team.
 
Will you be able to bounce back after the hardship?

I truly hope so, and we are trying our best to get back on our feet. It is definitely a huge blow to our finances and we are always thinking of resourceful solutions. It is quite encouraging to hear about initiatives that are aiming to help businesses like ours, and our clients have been very supportive.
 
Have you already resumed work and under what conditions?
We have mostly been working on our projects remotely and coordinating with each other over email, while fixing the office through several different stages of functionality in parallel. It has not been easy, but we are making the best out of a very tough situation.
 
What’s left when we lost almost everything?
Our hearts, minds, and ingenuity will always prevail. One way or another, we will find a way forward.