Okemos Family Escapes Lebanon

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

"I'm still teary. I'm sorry," Peggy Pease begins the story of her daughter Christina's ordeal in Beirut.

"The day we went over when they were leaving, I told her 'Tina, Mama don't want you to go.' I just had a funny feeling right here," she says, pointing to her heart.

Her daughter, Christina Aibout, her husband Dani and their three boys spend every summer in the town of Deirmimass in southern Lebanon. Dan’s family is there. It's been a vacation, until now.

The Aibouts told their family here at home they were afraid to try the trip to Beirut, where they could escape. They heard bombing from Dani's mom's home. The American Embassy said they were on their own to get to port.

After days of back and forth, with Congressman Rogers’ help, they were booked on the last ship as part of the American evacuation out of Lebanon. Their family doesn't know how they got to port, or what they saw on the way.

"From my understanding it's five hours from Beirut from where they were at," Barbara Triplett, Christina's sister says.

"Finally we heard they did get to port, and that was such a blessing you just don't know," Pease adds.

It's been a week and a half since her sisters or mom talked to Christina directly, but the congressman's office tells them the family's in Cyprus and safe.

"Until we get to hold on to them, it's not the same," Pease says.

They understand the Aibout's will unwind in the Greek Islands for now, and return to Okemos in about a week.


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