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Middle East Conflict Hits Home

By: Erica Proffer
By: Erica Proffer

The war in the Middle East hits home for one Wiregrass family. An Ozark doctor and his wife have nearly all of their family living in Lebanon.

A lot of people say how bad it would be if American soldiers were fighting in this war. There are many people in the U.S. that are affected now on the deepest level because they have family there.

As war in the Middle East continues, an Ozark couple watches with hopeful eyes. Dr. Hassan and Diana Kesserwani have most of their family members in the southern part of Lebanon. While a few of them have escaped to safer areas like Greece, there are many that are still left in danger.

"We give them a lot of emotional support. It's very tough because when we speak with them, we can actually hear all of the bombarding. While they're talking to us they're scared because the artillery is just continuous."

The Kesserwanis say they talk to their parents at least five to six times a day, but they say that's not good enough. They want to do more, but in a lot of ways their hands are tied.

"The conditions are very, very bad. There is no water. People are literally starving, especially in the south of Lebanon where they cannot get any humanitarian aid."

"This can be hard for a lot of Americans to imagine because many don't have family in the middle of war as civilians. Diana says he considers this to be like the Hurricane Katrina disaster times a thousand."

But even with all the fighting the Kesserwanis say they appreciate all the efforts given by American soldiers.

"We're in a daze. We're dizzy, and we're devastated. It's very hard. It's hard to verbalize and put it into a sentence, except that we feel numb and we just pray and pray that this situation resolves itself."

Praying is what the Kesserwanis say they will continue to do until their family is safe.

Diana says her sister has evacuated to Greece, but that's after she had lost her home. Both Diana and Hassan say they don't think all of their family will be evacuated.

Dr. Kesserwani and his wife Diana each have at least 50 family members living in Lebanon.


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