NRL Star Josh Mansour Is Leading The Lebanese Community's Support For The Beirut Blast
Josh Mansour is leading the charge to help raise funds for those impacted by the Beirut blast.
The Penrith Panthers star took to the field over the weekend draped in a Lebanese flag following the explosion that killed at least 158 people.
Mansour - whose family is originally from Lebanon - received glowing praise from the NRL community for his touching post-game gesture, but insists he doesn't want the support to end there.
While he's been using his social media platform to share various charitable organisations with his followers, the 30-year-old winger plans on coming together with a number of NRL players to spread awareness and raise the much-needed funds to assist those effected.
"I have been to Lebanon once and it's just such a strong connection," Mansour said.
"It's difficult. I want to (organise something) but with COVID and stuff I don't know how it's going to work.
"I am donating clothes and food. I can't go down myself but hopefully my wife will be able to drop stuff off.
"I'm donating money to the Lebanese Red Cross and clothes through Dessert Box. They're getting together a container to get to Lebanon."
A host of big-name NRL players have a strong connection to the country.
Wests Tigers star Adam Doueihi, who comes from a proud Lebanese family, was seen in tears after his side's 44-4 loss to the Newcastle Knights over the weekend.
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The images of a distraught @AdamDoueihi6 tugged at the heartstrings of league fans everywhere. The @WestsTigers star has opened up to 7NEWS about what led to his on-field tears. https://t.co/TWh1KQycs4 @7michellebishop #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/ofH5BULZYX
- 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) August 10, 2020
The 22-year-old has since come out and said his overwhelming emotions were caused by both his side's shocking performance and the events that unfolded in Beirut earlier that morning.
"I guess everything just hit me at once," Doueihi told Channel 7.
"It really was a disappointing performance. It was a tough week for us as a Lebanese community.
"The morning it happened I saw my mum straight away and she was pretty distraught.
"I'm not much of a hugger, but I did give her a big hug."
The explosion in Beirut sent shockwaves around the world, striking close to the hearts of Lebanese communities and families all over the globe.
And Mansour - who has represented Lebanon on the international rugby league stage a handful of times - knows just how much love and support the suffering country needs right now.
"The country is going through so much," Mansour said.
"Not only with this explosion but through COVID, an economic crisis and the government.
"They are looking at a revolution now as well. Things have been piling up. It's the last thing the country needs.
"One of my cousins lives in Beirut but he left 30 minutes before the explosion to visit family.
"The one thing about the Lebanese community, everyone lives in harmony and I wanted to represent that tonight (by wearing the flag after his game)."
Featured Image Credit: NRL
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