Class Move

From Scout:

I just knew it.

Remember those first 21 Americans evacuated last Sunday…

BEIRUT, Lebanon Jul 16, 2006 (AP)— Two Marine Corps helicopters evacuated 21 Americans from Lebanon to Cyprus on Sunday, and U.S. officials urged others to wait for a formal evacuation plan before they try to leave.

The U.S. citizens evacuated Sunday included a family of four with a sick child and four students, said Maura Harty, assistant secretary of state for consular affairs.

Well it turns out those 4 students were of a certain class….

As it turns out, if you were an Ivy League student in Beirut, your turn came first.

Among those enrolled in the summer Arabic program at the American University of Beirut, students told ABC News, those from Harvard, Yale and Princeton were in the first group evacuated – by high-end private security firms. Students from other American schools were left behind, waiting it out for days while the U.S. embassy formulated its plan.

A.G. Leventhal, a Junior and Near Eastern Languages concentrator at Harvard University, was enrolled in summer classes at AUB when bombs began falling on southern Beirut. Leventhal was immediately contacted by Harvard and informed of the International SOS service, which would begin evacuation the next day.

While Leventhal and his cohorts were being bussed or flown to safety, other students were told to stay put as bombs falling nearby shook their dorm rooms.

The students left behind recall their frustration and a feeling of isolation. One student who wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons said, “It was unfair that the private, wealthy schools were afforded the luxury of a quick evacuation.” Both her university and her government, she says, failed to help her out of a dangerous situation.