MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A heartfelt celebration unfolded at Miami International Airport as family members welcomed their loved ones home from a war-torn country.
Among the reunions was the warm welcome for 18-year-old Shai-El, who cut short her nine-month trip of learning and volunteering due to the escalating situation.
“I’m happy to be back, and I’m safe,” said Shai-El.
During her time in Israel, she experienced a mix of emotions. While she says she felt secure in her location, many of her friends were living in fear amid ongoing conflict.
“I’ve seen so many images that I can’t erase from my head,” Shai-El said. “Hearing from my friends, crying and being in bomb shelters, it’s really hard.”
Shai-El’s nine-month trip was unexpectedly cut short by her parents’ decision to bring her back home.
“When everything transpired on Saturday, my wife decided she’s going to come home,” Shai-El’s father said.
Chazak Lipszyc recently moved to Israel, but his plans were disrupted by the Hamas attack.
“Just heard a bunch of sirens and saw the missiles coming at us,” said Lipszyc.
With the area he planned to live in locked down, he decided to return to South Florida temporarily and help the local Jewish community.
“To be here to help out my community here, the Jews here, I felt that’s where I was needed more,” Lipszyc said. “And God willing, be right back when things are more settled.”
Both Shai-El and her family share the same hope – for the conflict to end soon.
“My heart goes out to the parents who don’t have this opportunity on both sides… and let’s hope this ends fast,” said Shai- El’s father.
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