Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Family of 12-Year-Old Stuck in Beirut Tell How They Heard Bombs during Phone Calls; Reunited: Father and Son Split by War

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Family of 12-Year-Old Stuck in Beirut Tell How They Heard Bombs during Phone Calls; Reunited: Father and Son Split by War

Article excerpt

Byline: JACK LEFLEY

A 12-YEAR-OLD who spent a harrowing week trapped in Beirut as Israeli bombs and missiles pounded the city was today reunited with his family.

Hussein Elfadel was among the first Britons to arrive at Gatwick as part of the country's biggest evacuation since Dunkirk.

He made the journey from Lebanon to Cyprus on HMS Gloucester on his own, finally meeting up with his worried father when the ship docked in Limassol.

The pair flew back to London and their Richmond home last night.

Hussein travelled to Beirut this month to visit relatives but became trapped when the latest conflict started. His mother Hindy and 10-year-old sister Liah could only hope for the best as Hussein's father Rabih waited to see his son step off the Royal Navy destroyer.

Mr Elfadel, 40, said: "When I finally saw him it was the best moment of my life and I just hugged him and didn't want to let him go."

Looking exhausted and close to tears, Hussein said: "It was so tiring and it seemed like it was never going to end. But I am back with my family now." His mother said that the days her son was away had been the worst time of her life.

"Bombs were dropping so near to where he was and we could hear them over the phone. We were sick with worry every day that he was away, but now he is back with us."

About 80 British evacuees were on AMT flight 6205 when it touched down at Gatwick just after 1.20am.

Among them were 18-year-old Charles Salmon, his girlfriend Rachel Curry, also 18, and her brother Chris, 16. The Currys' mother works in the British Embassy in Beirut and the trio were in the middle of a three-week visit.

Mr Salmon's parents Mary and Peter and his 10-year-old sister Caroline had endured the agonising wait for his return at their home in Hockley, Essex.

After the air raids began Mr Salmon and Miss Curry, both geography students at Royal Holloway University, spent days at the embassy, fielding phone calls and emails from worried relatives of other trapped Britons. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.