What was to be a five-week holiday before 22-year-old Ramona (in photo with father Dr. Raja Ataya, also Lebanese-born) started medical school in the fall turned frighteningly dangerous. They landed safely in Houston Wednesday night and their story is told today by Writer Beth Gallaspy in the Beaumont Enterprise. It says, in part:
"In the mountains, we knew we were safe, but you're constantly hearing bombs," Ramona said about 12 hours after returning to her Beaumont home. "You see the planes outside your window dropping bombs. We weren't really worried for our lives that much, but we were worried about what's to come, what's going to happen, what if it does get worse." ...ABOVE: Beaumont Enterprise photo by Mark M. Hancock
Two days of rest in a luxury hotel there preceded a marathon of travel home: a five-hour flight to Germany, a 10-hour flight to Newark, an eight-hour layover, then on to Houston. Their commercial flight had a two-hour delay, but by then the women were too tired to care.
"We didn't even have the energy to complain anymore," Ramona said.