Irish national near Rafah crossing since October 'so lucky to be leaving' Gaza

Irish National Near Rafah Crossing Since October 'So Lucky To Be Leaving' Gaza
The family said they were 4km from the border crossing. Photo: Getty Images
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Vivienne Clarke

Irish national Ayman Shaheen, along with his wife Suha, daughter Rawan (19) and son Ibrahim (12) is hopeful of getting through the Rafah crossing into Egypt today.

The family, which has been in the Rafah area since October, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that they were contacted by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday night that they are on the list to leave today.


“We are so lucky. We kept checking, twice a day. We are lucky to be alive. It is a great feeling that we are leaving.”

Mr Shaheen thanked the Department of Foreign Affairs “they did a great job”.

His family was lucky to be leaving, he said. But 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza “will continue under the nightmare. The terrible war. But for me and for my family, as I said, we are so lucky to be able to go to cross the border.”

The family is four kilometres from the border crossing at present. Mr Shaheen said he has a friend with a car who will drive them to the crossing. It was dangerous, “but we have to do it.”


He anticipates that it will take an hour to cross through the border station and once they are on the Egyptian side they will be met by officials from the Irish embassy in Cairo.

“It's an excellent feeling. Finally, we'll do it. We will cross the border. You feel like God has chosen you to survive. It's a great feeling we are leaving.

“Everything in Gaza is upside down. It is hell to be honest. It is hard to find food, hard to find water. It's hard for everyone. I am lucky. I am so happy that I am going to leave."

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