We are happy to say that the hijacker at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus has been arrested and all of the hostages have been released. On Tuesday morning, we were surprised to wake up on our little island and find out that an Egyptian plane had landed and had a hijacker on board. We thought the worst. But to our relief, it seems that the hijacker only wanted to reach his ex-wife. In relief, some are making jokes. But to the passengers who were held hostage, it was no joke. By the grace of God they were eventually all let go and are on their way to their destinations.
But what good has come out of this incident? In a way, it was like a practice run of which even the top officials were not aware; and really this is the best way to have a drill. Airline and security personnel had to communicate with their counterparts in other countries. Perhaps a Cypriot official had to confer with a Egyptian, Israeli, or Turkish liaison. Perhaps they had never communicated before. Now they have. Now they know who to contact and how to contact them in case a similar situation comes up again. Why? Because everyone had to practice the high-level security procedures together, synchronizing with people from other countries and other language backgrounds.
In situations like this, it is beneficial to know the language of those with whom you might be working. Although the common language is English internationally, in an emergency situation, a few words in the right language can give a calming influence. Bravo to all those who contributed to the success of this outcome–especially the Cypriots!