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Toronto Man's Family Trapped In Lebanon

Najib Halawi is one of them.

His wife and three children left for Lebanon about a month ago to visit grandparents and eight days after the first Israeli air strikes started they’re stuck in an area about two hours south of Beirut and their chances of getting out appear to be slim.

Halawi said he would gladly switch places with his family if he had the chance.

“I wish I was down there and my family was here,” he laments. “It makes it easier for me. I have piece of mind, you know, relax. But in this situation, my family, my parents, you know, I don’t know. I don’t know . I am a desperate.”

To make matters worse Halawi’s two youngest children, seven-year-old Ali and two-year-old Huda, have liver conditions.

“Oh, my god. My heart breaks in pieces because she’s all my heart,” he said of his baby girl.

The distraught father and his wife Nada also have a 12-year-old son Muhammad.

The federal government has come under heavy criticism for its slow response to the crisis facing Canadians in Lebanon and officials have offered little help for citizens outside of Beirut.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Stephen Harper was planning to pick up 120 evacuees in Cyprus to bring them home on his Canadian Forces plane. The government has also leased seven ships to get Canadians out of the region.

Halawi believes the evacuations should’ve started sooner.

If you’re trying to find out the status of loved ones in Lebanon, call Foreign Affairs at 1-800-267-8376.