Skip to Content

‘Beyond what your soul can feel’: Maui couple shares escape from Israel

By A’ali’i Dukelow

Click here for updates on this story

    KAHULUI, Hawaii (KITV) — Omi and Ayelet Chamdi appeared stoic Wednesday morning as they arranged necklaces and rings in their jewelry stop along Dairy Road in Kahului.

But behind their seemingly calm faces, the couple is struggling to grapple with the horror they experienced on their latest trip back to their home country.

Originally from Israel, the Chamdis moved to Maui in 2001.

While on vacation visiting family for several weeks, they were woken up on the morning of Oct. 7 to a blaring alarm urging them to go to the bomb shelter.

“The whole way your heart is beating and you don’t know what to expect because the only thing you hear is the siren and after a few minutes you hear boom, like an earthquake,” Ayelet remembered, adding she and her husband are now experiencing signs of post-traumatic stress since they’ve returned to Maui.

Once they realized war had broken out, the couple kept waiting for updates on the news. They often felt in the dark, a fear of the unknown they likened to the false missile alert here in Hawaii in 2018.

“I think all of us can relate to the feeling of not knowing when the missile is going to hit and that’s the exact feeling we had during these alerts,” Omi recalled.

After two weeks in shelter, the Chamdis evacuated on a US embassy flight with their two daughters who were studying in Israel before the conflict erupted. The family is thankful they’re all safe, but they mourn the thousands who lost their lives and pray for those who didn’t get the chance to escape.

“I was crying for weeks. I would relate it to maybe the Maui fires here, how everyone felt in shock and in awe of how something so terrible could happen,” the Chamdis shared.

The Chamdis declined discussion on their political views of the military conflict but shared their experience in the hopes of providing outsiders some perspective on the terror consuming the region.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content