Family just ‘waited for death’
DESPERATELY attempting to flee the bombing in southern Lebanon, Maged Ibrahim and his family knew death could come from the sky at any moment.
“We were waiting for death,” the unshaven and bleary-eyed schoolteacher said yesterday as the dual Lebanese-Australian citizen was reunited with three of his children in Sydney. “We were trying to find shelter — but there was nowhere to go.”
Exhausted but still unable to sleep, Mr Ibrahim, who has lived in Lebanon for the past 14 years, said he was forced to drive to Beirut from the village of Aitaroun, which has been smashed by recent Israeli bombing.
But he praised the Australian government officials who helped him, his wife and three of his daughters escape from their destroyed home.
“Thank you to the Australian Government, thank you for everything,” Mr Ibrahim said.
“We had only our passports and the clothes we were wearing — no luggage, no money, nothing.”
On the second day that Israeli jets bombed southern Lebanon, with his home razed, Mr Ibrahim loaded his wife Souad, 45, and daughters Rima, 22, Fatme, 14, and Jinan, 12, into a car and started driving towards Beirut.
“It was a nightmare journey,” said Rima, who was studying English literature at university in Lebanon. “We were crossing a bridge when it was bombed. The car behind us, carrying a family of 14, was blown to bits. They were all killed.
“I don’t know what day it was. All the days were the same, we haven’t slept since the bombing started.”