After Seeing Conflict Up Close, Restaurant Owner Happy To Be Home - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

After Seeing Conflict Up Close, Restaurant Owner Happy To Be Home

A local restaurant owner and his family are back home tonight from war torn lebanon after almost a week of traveling.

It was the first time Andy Hajjar had taken his two children to meet their lebonese family and as it's a visit none of them wil ever forget.  It took an 8 hour taxi ride, some coaxing at the Syrian border, 5 days in Jordan, and two flights for Andy Hajjar and his kids to return home into the arms of family and friends.  "I almost broke to tears, I mean it's a very good happy," said Hajjar yesterday back at his home.

Andy is from Zahle, a christian community in the center of Lebanon.  When bombs from the Israelis got too close, Andy decided it was time to go his son David describes what they saw and heard as something out of a movie.

Zajjar described the adventure of getting out of Lebanon, "it's like Indiana Jones something you only see, it's hard to explain in words, you're so shocked you don't know what to say."

The U.S. Embassy told the Hajjars to stay put, that all the streets and bridges had been destroyed and there was no where for them to go.  So against the embassy's advice, the Hajjars took a taxi to the border in Damascus. "i got to lebanese border they had thousands of people fleeing from all over the world," recalled Hajjar.  

He had to convince authorities at the Syrian border to let them in because of the strained relationship between the U.S. and Syria the trio then spent five nights in Jordan waiting for seats on a plane.  After flying halfway around the world to say the Hajjars are relieved is a major understatement.  Andy's teenage son David said, "my first thought, thank God, I kissed the ground when I got here."

Report: Corey McConnell

For the web: Cliff Jenkins

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