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Lebanese engineer in London tells of son's Beirut rescue

A London-based Lebanese environmental engineer has told of how he got his son out of the war-torn country.

Rabih El Fadel (pictured) told the AJ yesterday of how his son Hussein was rescued by the Royal Navy as Israeli bombs rained down on Beirut.

Three weeks ago, El Fadel, who through his practice Zef works with the likes of Zaha Hadid, travelled to the British naval base in Cyprus to welcome his 12-year-old son to safety.

The engineer had sent his son to the Lebanese capital to have a summer holiday with cousins.

But when the war broke out between Hezbollah and Israel, it become increasingly urgent to get him out.

'He was over there so obviously it was a real concern,' El Fadel said. 'He was a minor and on his own. I was born over there so I know how it is but my wife was very worried.

'It was a great relief when he arrived in Cyprus.

'But he is a strong boy and he made friends. He even got to know the BBC correspondent Ben Brown.

'The one thing he wanted to make sure everyone understood was that he was not scared. That's very important to him.

'But my mum and my sister are still out there and we are still worried about them. Keeping the job going during the day and then going home to watch the news every night about what's going on isn't easy either,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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