Detroit Autoworker Among Lebanon's Refugees
SIDON, LEBANON, Aug. 3, 2006 — -- When Detroit autoworker Nabil Beydoun retired to Bint Jubayl, a Lebanese border town, he never dreamed his retirement community would become a war zone.
Lebanon's conflict with Israel has left roughly a million people fleeing their homes for safety, including Beydoun, whose house collapsed during an attack.
He worked on the assembly line at Chrysler for 30 years before retiring to Bint Jubayl, and he recently spent five days with no food or water while trapped in his basement until a neighbor dug him out from the wreckage.
"I lost 14 people of my family," he said. "They are dead from one house. They are still underground. You cannot pick them up."
Now he's unsure where he will find shelter as Sidon, where many of the refugees are staying, is overrun with those in need of housing.
The population has doubled in the past few days -- for every citizen of Sidon there are two refugees. Every mosque, church, school and hospital is already filled with people.
"I don't where we will go," said Beydoun.
But it's safer than his hometown, where bodies of women and children have still not been buried. A mass grave stands empty, as there are too many air raids to conduct funerals.
"Why kill us?," asked Beydoun. "Go follow Hezbollah. You kill them, they kill you, we have nothing to do with it."
But for now, until there's a cease-fire and possibly long after, there is simply no going home.