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Local Lebanese worried over Middle East crisis

Local Lebanese worried over Middle East crisis


At press time (Wednesday 19th) Israeli soldiers and Hezbollah militants were continuing their violent clashes inside Lebanon. Air and artillery strikes had killed 55 persons, the highest toll in the conflict up to that time.

Meanwhile, local Lebanese residents of St. Vincent are praying that the conflict will soon be ended and some sense of stability will return to the region. There are many local Lebanese citizens who are keeping their eyes glued to their Arabian news services keeping track of what is going in their homeland, and is affecting their relatives and friends constantly in harm’s way.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT spoke to some local Lebanese who preferred to remain anonymous, expressed their horror and deep concern for what is talking place in their homeland. One such individual is Michael El Khalil of Khalil Fashions. Michael has been living in St. Vincent for the last seven years after being in the United States for 10 years, He is now living in morbid fear for his parents and his sister’s family that were still in Lebanon up to press time.

Khalil told SEARCHLIGHT that he and his family have been trying to get his parents out through the American Embassy, but is still uncertain about his parents’ willingness to leave. Although the Northern Lebanon village of his origin, Koura Village, has not been damaged, Khalil is worried that it is only a matter of time before the violence, mainly concentrated in the South, moves throughout Lebanon as Israel continues its offensive.

At Press time, Israel was still insistent about their intention to continue their offensive until the Lebanese Government restraints the Hezbollah militants and the two Israeli soldiers captured by the said group are released. Khalil however suggest that the Lebanese Government is too weak to reign in Hezbollah and is heartbroken that innocent people, especially children, are paying for Hezbollah’s actions. “Israel should fight Hezbollah alone and not kill innocent people,” the heart broken Lebanese declared.

A female representative for the prominent local Lebanese family, the Sassines, told SEARCHLIGHT that they also have parents, brothers and sisters living in Lebanon and are frantically keeping in touch with them to monitor their status. “They have to stay in-doors, they can’t move,” expressed the concerned spokesperson that preferred not to be identified. She told SEARCHLIGHT that they are actually experiencing difficulty now in contacting their relatives as the military campaign is affecting the country’s telecommunication system.

“Children are being killed like birds, you are seeing children on the streets without arms and ears,” exclaimed the broken-hearted spokesperson who struggled to hold back the tears of disgust and pain that she felt while relating what she and the family members here have been seeing on Arabian television. “We follow Arab news everyday.”

Meanwhile, nations all around the world, including Trinidad and Tobago have been moving as swiftly as possible to evaluate their nationals from the unstable region.