Brazilians caught in the chaos

Seven Brazilians have died in the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, and thousands more are stranded, according to the Brazilian embassy in Beirut.

Brazilian-Lebanese relief at Sao Paulo airport
Brazilian-Lebanese relief at Sao Paulo airport

The first was a seven-year-old boy, Bassel Termos, from the Foz do Iguacu area of Brazil who was on holiday with his parents.


The latest, Dib Barakat, 62, was killed when an Israeli air attack destroyed the furniture factory which he owned and where he was working.


Barakat had been living in Lebanon for 10 years.


Family members had to flee from his funeral when bombs began falling 50 metres from the cemetery.


Dib’s nephew, Kalil Laila, told local media in Brazil that his uncle lived in a region of Lebanon that had a large Brazilian population, and that they were having difficulties getting out of the country.





Brazilian refugees arrive home

Brazilian refugees arrive home

Lebanon is a popular summer destination for Brazilians and home to many.


There were about 200,000 Brazilians in Lebanon when the conflict between Israel and its neighbour erupted into a military campaign.


Brazil, in turn, has the largest Lebanese population outside the Middle East.


Brazilian television showed scenes of despair and incredulity at a mosque in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where Barakat had lived for 20 years.


Celso Amorim, the Brazilian foreign minister, said: “It’s a tragedy what is happening in the Middle East.


“It’s extremely negative and threatening for the people who are there, for the Brazilians who die still wearing the national football shirt of Brazil, which brings home graphically the tragedy for us.”


He was referring to the death of a family of four Brazilians killed this week.


“I don’t believe I will see Beirut again”

Najla Abiradwan, a Lebanese-Brazilian refugee returning home

“Many countries are sending ships and advising Israel suspend the attacks during the evacuation, but the Brazilians are having to leave on their own, running risks,” he said.


Exodus via Syria


The Brazilian foreign ministry is advising its citizens to leave via the Syrian or Jordanian border, areas that are coming under Israeli attack.


On Wednesday, the Brazilian air force evacuated 85 Brazilians, who had travelled by bus to Syria, back to Sao Paulo.


The foreign ministry said further rescue flights would take place, but that places were limited to 100 on the aircraft and that it “was clearly not enough”.


Najla Abiradwan, one of those who flew out on the rescue flight, said: “I don’t believe I will see Beirut again. It was beautiful, reconstructed, but then the bombardment began.


“Everywhere there were bridges destroyed. And, from the balcony of our house, you could see a child dead on the ground. It killed me.


“I feel a great pain because my daughter, who lives in Lebanon and is married to a Lebanese man, is there with three of my grandchildren.”


At this time of year – the Brazilian winter school holidays – many Brazilians with links to Lebanon visit family members there.

Source : Al Jazeera

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