A Tucson family is grateful to be back in its adopted country after surviving a civil war and fearing that it would never be able to leave its troubled homeland.

Husain Gharbia and his wife, Fatina, planned to make 2007 the year they returned to the Middle East and introduced their families to their daughters, Ayah, 3, and Tala, 1.

The parents are permanent legal residents, and their daughters are U.S. citizens.

Fatina left with the girls in late January. Husain, a cab driver, joined them three months ago. They were due to return to Tucson via Cairo, Egypt, on June 30.

Little did they know that a civil war would break out on the Gaza Strip, even in his family’s neighborhood.

“I was afraid to move around in my living room,” Gharbia said Wednesday night, minutes after his flight landed in Tucson. “There was shooting all around.”


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