A Fort Myers family is anxiously monitoring the news for updates on the escalating conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Their daughter is near the Israeli city of Haifa where she had planned to spend the summer studying Hebrew. Haifa is a port city, the third largest in Israel, about twenty miles south of the Lebanon border. Maya Osterman arrived there July 7th – just days before the armed conflict between Israel and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon began. Maya’s mother, Rozzi Osterman, says since then her daughter’s days and nights have been punctuated by trips to the nearest bomb shelter.
“She’s gotten pretty used to it. There’s an announcement that says please go to your shelters and they all run down – they’ve gotten a little savvier now to know to bring some comforts with them. Sometimes someone will grab some candy or an ipod, definitely a cell phone and maybe a computer.”
Osterman says she’s concerned about her daughter’s safety – but nearly equally concerned about the political situation in Israel. The Osterman’s also have family members and friends living in Israel. Maya Osterman should find out Wednesday if her summer collegiate studies can be resumed.
A Fort Myers family whose daughter was scheduled to spend the summer studying Hebrew in Israel says they’ll find out Wednesday if class has been cancelled. Maya Osterman arrived in the city of Haifa just days before bombs began to fall in the conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Since then she’s been spending a lot of time in bomb shelters. Rozzi Osterman says she’s worried about her daughter - but also about Israel’s future.
“If I could click my heels three times I would prefer that world and democratic nations somehow stop terrorism. And then she could come when it was the right time to come home. That would be my first click. But obviously I want her out of harm’s way.”
Rozzi Osterman went to college in Israel and lived there for 11 years. Her husband, John, served in the Israeli military. Maya Osterman grew up in Fort Myers and is a sophomore at the University of Colorado.
Tuesday, 18 July 2006 01:00