Westminster Welcomes Iraqi Boy

January 14, 2009 6:39 am Published by

Tears and smiles marked an emotion-filled moment at Westminster Presbyterian Church, as three-year-old Mustafa Al Nadawi and his 33-year-old father, Ghazwan, walked down the aisle at the conclusion of the church service on Sunday, January 11 to be introduced to the people who helped raise $6,200 to cover Mustafa’s speech therapy following surgery.

>Mustafa was totally deafened in a bombing raid in June 2007, when an American missile destroyed his next-door neighbor’s home in Baqouba, a town outside Baghdad. He was just learning to talk, and his parents say over the past year and a half, he has been increasingly frustrated by his lack of hearing.

Ghazwan wrote numerous letters to people in Iraq asking for medical help for his son, but the only organization responding was the U.S. group called “No More Victims,” a national organization based in Los Angeles. Mustafa is the 10th child they have sponsored and the first to come to the Bay Area.

Westminster Church members learned about the effort to bring Mustafa to San Francisco early last year and raised the money for his speech therapy at an Iraqi/Arab feast. They expected Mustafa and his dad to arrive in late June, but delays in the approval of a visa for his father dragged on for months as the two waited in Jordan. Church members wrote letters to the State Department and contacted elected officials and finally, on December 31, the pair arrived in San Francisco.

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This post was written by Cole Miller

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