Reaching Out


THIS IS TAIM . He is 6 years old and suffers from autism. Because of the war in Iraq he has never gone to school. Together we can make it possible for him to attend the Jordan Specialized Center for Autism.

On my recent visit to Amman Jordan I traveled with CPR (Care Project for Refugees), a group of psychologist, psychiatrist and family health practitioners working in Jordan. (LINK) and continued the work of CRO, collecting the stories of Iraqi refugees who lived through the Iraq war and ongoing sectarian violence. Filmmaker Sophie Harris accompanied me and filmed our interviews and photographed our subjects. We hope to have a film to show you in the next year.

I can tell you that the suffering I saw in Jordan for Iraqi and Syrian refugee children was overwhelming. I came home feeling there is so little we can do to fix the enormous problems they will have to endure for the rest of their lives. We visited children with PTSD, lost limbs, faces deformed by explosions and the list goes on and on. Families have little resources to meet the needs they face for their children.

We found the Jordan Specialized Center for Autism. Taim will be able to attend Saturday – Thursday with two meals a day for $500 Per month for one year.

Make Donations to: The Alalusi Foundation (Alalusi Foundation)

You can pay by check or directly through paypal or your credit card.

REMEMBER to designate The Taim School Fund on your donation.

I hope you will join CRO and The Alalusi Foundation to help this one child.


Ruth Friend

President, CRO


CRO endeavors to find ways the public can help refugees by contributing to their individual medical and educational needs. We provide the information that will allow you to directly donate funds or time to help an individual refugee.

RAHMAN  Al Kaabi


The Iraq war tore a giant hole in the world of Iraqis. It has caused a diaspora of huge magnitude, with families separated all over the world.  The difficulties of refugees to regain their footing in a new country are seemingly insurmountable.

See Rahman tell his story in his own words

Rahman is a courageous Iraqi who has continued to work against these odds.  This opportunity to attend Circus Center is his chance to become a “star” in his community and give back.  I know Rahman will give back as he always does through his performance and art.
He wants to eventually build a school for Iraqi kids, to learn acting and clowning, something he had when he was a small boy in Iraq.




Mustafa 3yrs old

Mustafa 3 years old after receiving first cochlear implant

History of Mustafa Al Nidawi

On December 31, 2008 Mustafa Al Nidawi arrived in San Francisco with his father Ghazwan Al Nidawi. They traveled from Iraq to the U.S. because Mustafa then 3 years old was deafened by a U.S. bomb explosion near his home in Diyala Province and needed medical care not available in Iraq.

Mustafa was sponsored by a community organization in Marin County California, formerly named Ruth Group (Now Citizens Reach Out). The project was conceived in the hope that through this act of citizen diplomacy the group could not only educate the nation about the outcomes of war, but also actually help a child who was its victim.

Doctors from UC San Francisco Medical center volunteered their time to help Mustafa. Volunteer organizers from Ruth Group went to work to find a surgeon to do the surgery, the manufacturer of the cochlear device to donate one device, teachers from SF Hearing and Speech Center to admit Mustafa in their school once the device had been implanted and a place to live at Ronald MacDonald House. Mustafa received his first device in January, 2008.

Since Mustafa received his cochlear devices, a new generation of devices known as the “Rondo” have been developed. This device uses only one piece on the outside of the head. The device that Mustafa has is one piece on the head and another sound processor that hangs on his ears.  The device that hangs on his ears is difficult for him to deal with as it falls off easily when he is physically active.  It makes it awkward for him to participate in sports and be close to other kids who are playing as his device is always in jeopardy of falling off, or being lost.  It also sticks out prominently on his head and makes him more susceptible to teasing and ridicule.  This refugee family will not be able to afford this device in time for Mustafa, and Mustafa needs it now.


Mustafa today age 8

Update 2018

Mustafa’s medical needs will be ongoing. His Refugee Family still struggles to make ends meet. Please Contribute to his ongoing care;

All Donation go to;

Checks can be written to; Citizens Reach Out/Mustafa Fund

Mail to; 2 Miller Terrace, Mill Valley, CA 94941 Attn; Ruth Friend


Contribute towards a wheelchair for  Ahmed who was shot by a stray American bullet and is now paraplegic.

Ahmed is a 21 year old Iraqi man who was shot by a stray American bullet in Fallujah when he was 15 years old. His neighborhood was across the street from an American military installation and fighting went on most of the time during 2007. He was on his way to the market to get food for his family when he was shot in the street. Ahmed is now paraplegic, unable to use his lower body and legs. He is still a vital proactive person who miraculously made it out of Iraq to Jordon and then to the U.S. and the San Francisco Bay Area.  Ahmed suffers from life threatening bed sores he developed because of inadequate medical care and the need to be lying on his back and eventually in a wheelchair all the time.  He is now in hospital in the east bay of San Francisco with an aircushion bed, and the medications he needs to heal.  He will be there for at least 6 months.

Ahmad with Dalia

Ahmed with Dalia


Ahmed is now out of the Hospital and is able to live independently. However, but because of the nature of the gun-shot wound to his spine he will need Medical Care throughout his life.

If you can help Ahmed please donate:

ALL DONATIONS CAN GO TO: ( ) Remember to designate this donation AHMED Fund.

CHECK WRITTEN TO: The Alalusi Foundation/ AHMED Fund

MAIL CHECK TO: The Alalusi Foundation,

1975 National Ave, Hayward,CA 94945

Contact: Ruth Friend,

Ahmad with Katya

Ahmed with Katya