Posted by: sean | July 13, 2006

Exit strategies

I’ve packed up my things in case the worst happens and I need to leave Beirut in a hurry. I’ve also registered with the embassy, but they’ve not been very helpful and have given me no information whatsoever. (When I called this morning after the bombing of the airport, they told me to call back at 8:30, because they weren’t open.)

It seems that Israel has blockaded all Lebanese ports, so the route that I was keeping in mind to Cyprus is closed. The only option now is at the Syrian border, but again, I’m hesitant to try that, because the borders are already packed and I have my doubts about the Syrians letting me into the country unless I’m part of an official foreign convoy.

Twenty-seven Lebanese people were killed in last night’s and this morning’s attacks, and from what I can see, an Israeli woman was killed last night by Hizbollah rocket attacks.

Beirut, or at least my neighborhood, Hamra, is calm. Classes were not cancelled at the Lebanese American University, which may or may not be a bellwether for the situation as a whole.

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Responses

  1. One of the good things about blogs is you get authentic news from the inside. Keep up the blogging, for sure. We’re interested in knowing what’s happening in Beirut and the country as a whole.

  2. HI Sean, I got this link from david. If worse comes to worse you should go to a place like Ashrafieh, if you see what I mean. This would be the last place that would be bombed. All the exits are going to be closed apprently. this afternoon the southern suburbs may be bombed again. I know this is not very helpful but in any case if the situation gets worse the embassy will definitely get you out of there. DO NOT GO TO SYRIA. YOu do not even have a visa. Don’t try it.

    Kisses,
    Léna

  3. Hi Sean,
    Sorry to hear your holiday is not as relaxing as you first thought…
    My advice would also be to try the French embassy on the grounds that you are currently living in France and studying in Paris. If you need a photocopie of your French “permis de séjour” we can fax it to you. My guess is that, if things get really bad, countries will send their navy to pick up nationals wishing to leave. So if you register with both embassies you stand a better chance of being evacuated. Otherwise, move to a hotel near the US embassy. It’s the last thing the Israelis will want to bomb…
    And, is this really worty mentioning? DON’T GO TO SYRIA!!!
    Bises,
    Cécile

  4. Hi again,
    Just phoned the French Foreign Ministry. They say the only possible way out is through Syria but they don’t advise you to try it. Their advice is that you stay at home and avoid the streets as much as possible. Keep in touch with the US embassy. No evacuation of French nationals is foreseen at present and they don’t think the French navy will be involved in the evacuation. The Ministry is considering what to do next – it’s basically a wait-and-see situation for the moment.
    I’ll phone again in a few hours and let you know. Also trying to reach the US embassy in Paris.
    Take care,
    Cécile

  5. Sean,

    We’re all there for you. I just talked to a Lebanese friend who is very knowledgable about the current situation. He mentioned three things: 1.) SYRIA IS THE ONLY POSSIBILITY AT THIS MOMENT. 2.) He is kindly offering you help. He has close friends and family who will aid you in anyway possible. 3.) You can talk to him over the phone if necessary.

    You can email me if you require any or all three of these possibilities.

    Hang in there,
    -Kai-


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