Sudanese Family Moves into Habitat Home

By Brady Smith, Anchor/Reporter

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By Brady Smith

IOWA CITY, Iowa - "I'm so happy. We're so excited," said Ryan Elhag of Iowa City, as she looked around her new home.

As dozens of people poured into the brand new house, it began to feel less like a project, and more like a home. It's the Women Build 5 home, a coordinated effort by Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity.

"When I came here, I was in search for a better life," said Mohamad Hassan, who will now live here with Ryan and his daughter Jumana. They now have a home, equipped with energy-efficient appliances, built by volunteers from the University of Iowa women's athletics teams.

"The demands on our athletes' time are very great," said Christine Grant, former UI women's athletics director and Women Build Honoree. "Academics, athletics, and then to be willing and able to give a lot of time to the building of this home was very special to me."

Grant's been a part of several teams over the years, but she says the one that put a roof over this family's head, was one of the best.

"This was very special to me, to be involved with the kind of people that roll up their sleeves and say, 'yes we can do this,'" Grand told us.

Elhag loves the colors, the windows, and floors. "I really love the house; the island is my favorite," she said, pointing at the kitchen, quickly filling up with food as members of the local Sudanese community kept coming in.

"I'm so excited. It's a dream," Hassan said.

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