A Chandler mother and her four children have been allowed to leave the Gaza Strip after being trapped in the strife-torn region for two months.
They were met in Jordan by husband and father Mohamed Hegazy, who escaped from Gaza in June and had been anxiously trying to get his family out ever since.
After a push from the U.S. Department of State as well as the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Hegazy family was evacuated by bus to Jordan.
"It was a hectic experience," Hegazy said from Jordan after spending time with his family. "They are very happy to be out of there."
The Hegazys went to Gaza to visit family members. The family had been postponing the trip because of the danger. Finally in June, they decided to make the trip.
Shortly after they arrived, radical Palestinian faction Hamas seized control of the region from the Fatah party.
Gaza became a war zone, said Mohammed Abuhannoud, civil-rights director for the council.
"A lot of hostile and unfortunate accidents and incidents happened last June, and no borders were open - not to Egypt, not to Jordan, not to Israel," Abuhannoud said
As soon as Hegazy realized that his family was in danger, he signed them up for evacuation through the Israeli consulate.
When the time came to get out, authorities told Hegazy that he alone could evacuate. Hegazy decided to leave his family in Gaza and return to provide financial support for them.