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GreeceA sniper entered a school in Khartoum, where Greeks had taken refuge...

A sniper entered a school in Khartoum, where Greeks had taken refuge – Charalambia’s astonishingly shocking story

Hellenic News of America
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By Maria Zougra

Monday, April 24, 2023. Greek time, 10 pm. A father, in his despair over the fate of his daughter, Charalambia, a music teacher in a school in Khartoum, which is housed a stone’s throw from the Metropolis, is contacting us. His 38-year-old daughter, after a rocket fell on her apartment, found refuge in the school where she teaches and where the Greek director of the school had taken refuge with his wife and their children. In this space, at that time, a sniper invaded, who was shooting uncontrollably. The Greeks, who were both in the school and the Metropolis, among which Metropolitan Savvas are hiding as best they can, turn off their mobile phones, lest a possible phone call or message give a clue to the shooter and keep their mouths tightly shut. Any noise can be fatal.

Charalambia dares to send a short audio message to her father Ilias Dufas to reassure him that she is still alive: “We cannot leave, a local who was with us does not want to accompany us, without him we have no guarantees, we feel abandoned and we are already on the tenth day. The order from our ambassador in Cairo is to go by whatever means we can to the nearest airport, which is 60 kilometers away, at a time when there is fighting on the roads to this airport.”

The night is excruciatingly slow. Mr. Ilias Dufas tries to keep cool and prays to God. In a telephone conversation with him, he tells us that his daughter is offline at the moment, has no signal and low battery on her mobile phone. He doesn’t text her so as not to drain her remaining precious battery and prays that his child will live until morning.

Photo by M. Zougra

Early in the morning his daughter informs him with a message that they are alive, the sniper did not spot them and that they will start on foot to reach the airport even if it is far. If they stay in the Metropolis and the school, they will not survive, he emphasizes characteristically. Together with the principal of the school, his wife and their children, Metropolitan Savvas as a spiritual guide on their difficult path and other trapped people, the 38-year-old teacher takes the road to salvation. In the morning, around 6 o’clock, they leave the center of Khartoum behind, following a route that they and other stranded Greeks had planned and sent through a group they had created on social media, and head fearfully to the airport.

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Greek time: 10:55. The piece of new we craved for flashed across my mobile screen. Charalambia’s father sent me the liberating news: “Glory be to God! They’ve arrived at the military airfield!’ Charalambia, Metropolitan Savvas and those who were with them managed to arrive at the military airfield. We don’t know how many hours or days they will be in Greece, what matters is that they dared and left the wartime nightmare behind them and will soon embrace their loved ones.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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