Caught in Beirut
UPDATE 7/15/06: Jay and fellow students successfully evacuated the Lebanese-American University Saturday morning (local time) to the town of Byblos and are awaiting further evacuation to the island of Cyprus. (Thanks to The Birmingham News) We will keep you updated.
UPDATE 7/17/06: Jay and some of the other Lebanese-American University students left the port of Byblos on an international car freighter en route to Cyprus. There are hundreds of people on the boat. He told WBHM’s Steve Chiotakis (through a bad cell phone connection) that the passengers were hot and hungry (apparently there are no seats and no food on the boat) and dreading the long journey across the Mediterranean. But he says they are happy to be getting out of the war zone. He’s expected to arrive on Cyprus tomorrow morning local time. Other Americans will be flying home to the states while Jay is likely to head back to his apartment in Budapest, Hungary, if he can find a flight and gets permission from the state department.
UPDATE 7/19/06: Jay and more than 1,100 passengers arrived safely on the island of Cyprus, after an 11-hour trip by freighter from Lebanon. WBHM’s Steve Chiotakis spoke with him a few hours ago from Cyprus. He says the trip through the war zone was quite the learning – and harrowing – experience.