SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — He spent nearly two months in a Sudanese jail, but a Lane Community College student finally returned to Springfield on Wednesday.
Rudwan Dawod came home to a house decorated with banners and balloons, welcoming him back. His family and friends organized a barbecue Wednesday evening in celebration of his homecoming.
This summer, Dawod volunteered with an organization called Sudan Sunrise, rebuilding a Catholic church. He took advantage of a day off to go visit family in Khartoum. When Dawod heard about a pro-democracy rally on July 3, he said he couldn’t help but support the cause in his native country. He, his father and brother all marched in the rally and ended up getting arrested, along with many of the other protestors. In all, Dawod said he spent 44 days behind bars; he was released once, but then re-arrested on August 13. He said while he was jailed, he and his family members were badly beaten.
Dawod’s wife Nancy said she was terrified when she found out he’d been arrested because she knew how hostile the Sudanese government could be. She organized a rally at LCC, calling for her husband’s release.
Finally home, Rudwan said he’s grateful for all of his family, friends, Lane Community College students and others who rallied to get him home. As grateful as his is to be home, he said he’s still perplexed by the way his native country treated him.
Rudwan and Nancy will soon welcome their newborn baby girl into the world, whom they’ll name Sudan.
Click on the video above to watch our entire interview with the Dawods.