It was supposed to be a wonderful, 30-day family vacation. It turned into a nightmare that just won’t end.

Back in May Mohamed Hegazy, his wife Sohair, his daughters Somaya, 19, Asma, 18, Israa, 16 and his sons Sohaib, 14, and Mosab 11 went to the Gaza Strip.

The second week of their trip Hamas, a radical Palestinian political party seized control of the region in June. Gunmen stormed the apartment Moe and his family were renting. “The last night in the apartment we hear shooting as if we were in a war zone,” Hegazy said.

The family escaped and went to stay with relatives nearby. A few days after the violence erupted Moe was evacuated with help from the consulate. However, authorities were unable to evacuate the entire family. “If I knew it would be this tough to get my family back I would have stayed,” Hegazy said.

Sohair and the children have been stuck in Gaza for 60 days, they can still hear the shootings and bombings but tell Hegazy it has died down recently. It is still frightening for the kids, who according to Hegazy, cry themselves to sleep at night.

Hegazy says he has spoke to the State Department but has been told to wait and be patient. A spokesperson we contacted at the State Department would not discuss the case with us.

Moe and Sohair were born in Gaza but came to the U.S. 20 years ago. The couple’s five children were all born in the United States.


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