Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jay Saxon '05: I'm out!

Hi everyone,

I am safe and sound, in Cyprus, where I will be until I fly to Budapest early on Saturday morning. I and everyone I was with (minus the people who chose to stay, more on that later) made it out together, on a Norwegian freighter, a car carrier. The 11-hour trip was absolutely miserable, and I will write more on that later (short version: trip was awful, vomit and flies everywhere, no food, cold, wet, smelly, crowded, uncomfortable), but for now I need to eat and sleep and recover a little bit. I think my Mom already emailed you all, but please pass the word around that we're out and safe, albeit totally disjointed and confused (I was in a war zone 24 hours ago, and now I'm in a fishing village on the Mediterranean). My mind still hasn't really processed what's going on. I may not be back in touch until I get back to Budapest, as I need a bit of time to myself with the people that understand my mental state right now (I'm here with Michael and Rachel, staying at a small apartment owned by Michael's family). I thank you all for everything, and I'll write more soon.


One student's frustrations: Still trying to get out

Omar Muakkassa '06 writes from Lebanon.

We went to the embassy today, as we heard a couple U.S. chartered cruise ships were evacuating U.S citizens. What happened was perhaps the most frustrating experience of this whole ordeal. The officials at the embassy were keeping a list of who would be allowed to evacuate and who wouldn't. Nobody seemed to know why some people were on the list and some weren't. We were not on the list, and even though we waited for several hours and asked every official we could, there was nothing we could do to find out on what criteria the lists were being decided. The whole process is extremely frustrating, simply becuase it is not at all transparent. It was very dissapointing to see the US government operate in such a manner. What made things worse is that nobody knows how many of the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon will want to evacuate, so it is impossible to tell how long it will take to be evacuated.
Luckily, this afternoon, we got a call from the embassy telling us to show up tomrorow morning. With any luck, I'll be in Cyprus tomorrow.