Rav­ages of war unite com­mu­nity, Iraqi fam­ily

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando nvil­lal­pando@states­man.com Car­ing B JAY JAN­NER / AMER­I­CANS­TATES­MAN

Su­san Loudon was sit­ting at her brother- and sis­ter-in­law’s ta­ble in Lago Vista on the Sun­day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing. She was in town vis­it­ing Tom and Cathy Camp­bell as well as her fa­ther and her sis­ter, when she read about the Al Zuwaydee fam­ily.

Saif Al Zuwaydee, 35, and his wife Rusul Khud­hair, 30, and their three chil­dren had em­i­grated to Austin from Iraq this spring. His life was in dan­ger be­cause of his past work as an in­ter­preter for U.S. troops.

The Zuway­dees are part of the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man’s Sea­son for Car­ing cam­paign, which helps 12 fea­tured fam­i­lies and hun­dreds of oth­ers through lo­cal non­profit agen­cies.

Loudon’s own son Christo­pher had been killed in Iraq in Oc­to­ber 2006 by an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice that killed 23-year-old Christo­pher, who was sta­tioned at Fort Hood, three other sol­diers and their Iraqi in­ter­preter.

“We al­ways felt bad as a

Saif Al Zuwaydee’s wife, Rusul Khud­hair, holds her daugh­ter Noor, 6, at their apart­ment in north Austin on Wed­nes­day. Khud­hair was sad be­cause she was miss­ing her fam­ily in Iraq.

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