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Veterans help Iraqi refugees in Lowell

From left, Bruce Macdonald and Pat Scanlon dine with refugees Farouq Ali  and his wife, Nawal Thyab, at the Iraqi couple’s home in Lowell.
From left, Bruce Macdonald and Pat Scanlon dine with refugees Farouq Ali and his wife, Nawal Thyab, at the Iraqi couple’s home in Lowell.Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

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Refugees who fled Iraq and came to settle in Lowell have found guardian angels in two Vietnam veterans from North Andover and Billerica. Pat Scanlon and Bruce Macdonald are members of the Greater Boston chapter of Veterans For Peace.

Most of the Iraqi refugees in Lowell are educated professionals who struggle now to find minimum wage work since their degrees are not recognized in this country. Many had to flee their country to avoid being killed for assisting coalition forces during the Iraq War.

Scanlon and Macdonald help find furniture, clothes, and food for the families, and help with the language barrier. The work with the refugees has “put a face on the victims of war,” Macdonald said.

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