Sixty ACEH members and friends met July 11, 2008, for a moving presentation, "Leaving Home Because of War," by Elsa Hyde and Kamal Habib. Mrs. Hyde, of Park Township, was born in a German displaced persons camp in World War II and lived in an Austrian DP camp until she was 11; her father was murdered, and, with her mother, sister, and two brothers, Elsa later immigrated to New Jersey, where the family received a mixed reaction from their sponsoring church and local residents.
Mr. Habib and his family were resettled in Grand Rapids in the spring of 2008 under the auspices of Plymouth UCC Church and Bethany Christian Services. The parents, both working professionals in Iraq, and their three children left Iraq for their personal safety and lived for two years as refugees in Syria before being granted asylum in the United States. Kamal, an engineer, served as an interpreter/translator for U.S. military forces in Iraq.
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