View Full Version : I'm Back!
July 24th, 2006, 08:27 PM
I just wanted to let you all know that I have just returned to the United States following a four-day evacuation process. It was hell but at the same time it was an amazing experience that really brought us all together... if anyone has any questions regarding the evacuation of Americans I would be proud to share my story.
As for Lebanon, I left it in a very sad state in which the people had no idea what the next few weeks would be like and what would be hit next. It was very hard leaving family and friends behind knowing that things could get worse once we leave... I really would not have left but this may have been my only opportunity to come back home.
However, being a very optimistic person, I have faith in the international diplomatic efforts underway to end this barbaric madness. The people of Lebanon have been very strong in these past few weeks, really sticking together and helping each other out. Lets pray it will all be over very soon.
The spirit of Lebanon will never die.
July 24th, 2006, 09:04 PM
i'm just happy to hear you as well other brothers and sisters get back safe , while i'm very sad for the situtaion in lebanon and for the innocent people who died and who lost their homes and families . lebanon was a model in the middle east for an open country where coexist and live in harmony many people with different religious believes.
i'm sure that it will stay a model, and just after the cease fire , life and devellopement will continue as the power of a country is in it's people.and what have shown all lebanese people during these though times proove that lebanon will shine again soon.
hope lebanon and the middle east will get peace soon
July 24th, 2006, 11:38 PM
God Bless You.
July 25th, 2006, 01:28 AM
welcome back Ryan. Thank god ur back in the States ok ... im so sorry to hear wat u went through :( and I couldnt agree with u more, nothing will kill that spirit.
July 25th, 2006, 09:24 AM
...... if anyone has any questions regarding the evacuation of Americans I would be proud to share my story.
The spirit of Lebanon will never die.
How did the evacuation process go?? I heared German & French were the best while Canadian were the worst, yeah?
July 25th, 2006, 11:03 AM
7amdella 3a salemtak ryan.
July 25th, 2006, 11:17 AM
nah the Australian Goverment was really slow at there evacations and a ship was booked by counrties n Canada got it . i think they were also slow
July 25th, 2006, 12:06 PM
Good to hear you returned back to United States.
I share your thoughts Ryan. Soon, after this operation ends, we'll have a prosperous country in the coming future.
July 25th, 2006, 12:16 PM
i was reading in an article a new mononts ago UAE is worried about futuer Investments to the country http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/business/2006/July/business_July702.xml§ion=business
July 25th, 2006, 05:10 PM
The best evacuations were organized by the French and other European countries... Australians were mostly neglected by their government, and the Americans and Canadians had it the worst.
There were about 25,000 US citizens in Lebanon at the time, and about half of them wanted to evacuate. It was extremely complicated for the US State Dept to organize such a massive evacuation and it took them more than a week to actually work out a plan. The US Embassy made us all register our names and passport info on their website and they said they would contact us to let us know when our turn was to evacuate. So we waited, and waited, and waited... people kept going up to the embassy and being told to leave and go home and wait to be called... so we waited more... only VIPs and people with serious medical conditions were being airlifted out.
Finally, the USA decided to send the Marines for the first time in over 20 years. It was a dramatic arrival with about 3 Navy ships and that's when the process gained momentum. The first day 500+ were evacuated, the second 1,000+, and when I left (Friday) we were 4,000+
The Marines were VERY good to us and really cared about our well-being. It was the state dept that was lacking in organization. I wasn't even called to go but I went anyway as rumor had it it was first come first serve. Luckily I made it on the ship...but it was an awful experience. On Friday, I went to the Dbaye Marina area where the Marines were stationed and stood in a chaotic line from 7:30am to 2 AM Sat. so we could all be "processed" - people were angry, hungry, agitated, depressed, sad, happy, just all-around emotional. Fights broke out in the crowed and people passed out from the heat and exhaustion. The Marines supplied us with unlimited (warm) bottled water though and they did offer us ready-to-eat military food...the red cross was also available when needed. It was priceless to see the Lebanese army and the US Marines working side-by-side and being very friendly with each other. I truly felt like the Marines cared about us and cared about Lebanon. I had the opportunity to have several conversations with them regarding what was going on.
So at 2am Sat morning we boarded a pathetic Egyptian/Turkish "cruise" headed to Turkey because the war ships were all filled. It was filthy and disgusting and the staff was rude and unsympathetic. There were not enough rooms for all of us so many had to sleep on the floors in the hallways and on the deck. The ship was nicknamed the "Shit-ship" because shit was piling up in the toilets that no longer flushed. We also ran out of drinking water and we were beginning to have a humanitarian crisis on board with too many people, no working bathrooms, no water, and an excess build-up of garbage everywhere... there was no soap, very few towels, etc... all around it was an awful experience. They then decided to turn the ship around and take us to Cyprus (for security reasons) and rumors began to spread that a Canadian evacuee ship was hit by an Israeli missile. People began to panic and break down crying....we mostly felt safe though because we had an American destroyer battle ship in our shadow protecting us.
The trip became a lot longer than it needed to be because of the detour and we were all getting restless. We decided to have a Lebanese party on the deck of the ship with some guy playing on the drum and singing patriotic songs... we were all dancing debkeh... then there was another fight because some chick thought it was wrong for us to be in a festive mood considering the circumstances. We all got mad at her because we knew we were not celebrating but rather showing the world that Israel can destroy our buildings and kill our people but it can never destroy the Lebanese spirit and pride.
Finally we arrived in Cyprus (Limasol) escorted by the port authority and we were taken to an area where the Marines were camped out (Nicosia)... conditions were much better because the US embassy people in Cyprus did EVERYTHING they could to ensure we were alright. We still had to sleep in a giant warehouse on the floors but it was better than the ship. We still had to wait in long lines everywhere we went and we were bused finally bused the next day to Larnaca where we flew to Baltimore....
July 25th, 2006, 08:09 PM
^^wow now that's a once in a lifetime experience!
July 25th, 2006, 08:22 PM
I am sure Beirut will be back to normal in less than a month and all poeple who evacuated hopefully will go back again. I always had a feeling that if I was in Beirut I would not evacuate since it does not seem that war will proceed to Beirut in greater extent.
I just hope the southern part of the city gets built up fast and more amazing projects get approved all around the city.