A Cedar Rapids family is back in Iowa after a two-month trip to Lebanon and a harrowing trip to escape the war-torn country. Kalil and Allea Ajram took their extended family on a trip to southern Lebanon where the couple built a retirement home in a small village.
The Ajrams say things were fine until the fighting erupted and crept ever closer to the small village where they were staying. When one missile landed within a half-mile, they knew it was time to leave. They’ve been home for a week, but Kalilsays the fright hasn’t abated.
“I still have nightmares,” Kalil says. Roads were impassable and bridges were destroyed along their normal exit route to the north, so the family rented a car and drove southeast to neighboring Jordan.
Kalil says the experience is still fresh in his mind. “This is the first time in my life I’ve been in a war,” he says. Some of the places they visited on holiday, including a dam near their retirement home, were destroyed by air strikes. Kalil says relatives remaining in the country are still O.K., but as the fighting continues Kalil says they’re growing more concerned.