Central Ohioans Continue to Worry About Relatives in Israel and Lebanon

As bombing continue is Israel and Lebanon, many Central Ohio residents remain concerned about their family and friends in the region. Some of these concerned families believe the United States should intervene to get a cease-fire.

Huda Osseiran spoke by phone from Beirut to people at the offices of the Ohio Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. As she described the conditions in Beirut she heard explosions.

Osseiran is one of thousands of people living in Beirut wondering when or if there will be a cease-fire with Israel.

Vice Chair of CAIR’s National Chapter, Ahmad Al-Akhras, said many Central Ohio families have been affected by Israel’s attack on Lebanon. Al-Akhras said it’s unconscionable that the U.S. government is not pushing for a cease-fire.

“As the administration delays, loved ones of people in Central Ohio, including people from our local community, who went to Lebanon to visit relatives, have found themselves thrust into a war in which they as civilians are under attack. We call on the United States to take a strong stance and call for a cease-fire,” Al-Akhras said.

Sahil Zida of Columbus is an Israeli citizen and a naturalized U.S. citizen. Zida’s wife and two young sons just left Haifa, Israel which has come under attack by Hezbollah. His family has safely left the city, but remains in Israel. Zida shared a conversation he had with his six-year-old son, Nader, about the war.

“The first day he told me, daddy, I was listening to the news and I see everybody is concerned and I hear the sirens and the bombs. Can you make our tickets so we can come home early?” Zida said.

Zida said he and his wife decided for the family to stay in Israel until the end of July. Because of Zida’s Israeli citizenship he declined to say too much about Israel’s political position, but he did ask the U-S government to intervene.

“We plead to the United States government to use its influence and demand that Israel cease fire immediately and commence with negotiations,” Zida said.

But not everyone feels that Israel is in the wrong. Sara Chay, who is from Israel and still has immediate family there, said Israel has taken on a fight against terrorism for the rest of the world.

“We are all very patriotic. We feel patriotic now with Israel, and support what they’re doing. And we hope for better days for Israel and for the world with out terror,” Chay said.

All three families will remain by the phone while they hope the situation stabilizes.

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