But Campbell also saw Mahmoud's kidnapping and feared she might be next, the book's description said.
Mahmoud previously had been kidnapped while running a humanitarian center in Iraq. Campbell eventually found Mahmoud and assisted in her release, a news release for the May 22 event said.
What mostly strikes Lori Lucchetti, the executive director of Building Peaceful Bridges, who met Mahmoud at church and developed a close friendship with her, is that Mahmoud is a joyful, serene woman, despite tragedies and health challenges that arose from them.
"After everything she has gone though, she sits here with a smile on her face and the energy to do more," Lucchetti said. "I don't know if I could do that."
Lucchetti helped connect Mahmoud with other women by opening her home to small gatherings of women. The goal of Building Peaceful Bridges is to help assimilate other refugees into the culture of the United States. A website, buildingpeacefulbridges.org, is under construction.
From left: Lori Lucchetti, Monique Woel, Beth Ann Topin, Abdullah Mahmoud, Ahlam Mahmoud, Ann Balusek, Roqayah Mahmoud, Marianne d'Ansembourg, Barbara Kantrow, Leslie Berkowitz