Thursday, February 8, 2018
By KALEA HALL
Fidaa Musleh, wife of deported Youngstown busunessman Al Adi is headed to Jordan to visit her husband.
It’s been nearly a month since Fidaa Musleh has seen her husband, Amer “Al” Adi Othman, locally known as Al Adi, outside of a glass barrier.
But today that will change when her plane lands in Amman, Jordan.
“He’s my husband of 30 years – of course he’s the only person I want to be next to right now,” Musleh said before heading to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport with a slew of friends and family.
Fidaa Musleh, wife of deported Youngstown businessman Al Adi is headed to Jordan to visit her husband.
Adi was deported Jan. 29 after he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for nearly two weeks. He was imprisoned mostly at Northeast Ohio Correctional Center on Hubbard Road in Youngstown where he could see his family only through a glass barrier.
Adi went on a hunger strike against his detainment until he was deported.
Musleh, who shares four adult daughters with Adi, plans to move to Jordan permanently to be with her husband.
“Trump needs to know that not only did he deport a person that doesn’t have citizenship, but people with citizenship are going to start moving out of this country and their tax money is going to go with them,” Musleh said.
Adi, 57, has an elderly mother and family in Jordan who greeted him with open arms when he arrived back to the home he left at 19.
“He keeps fighting to come back. This is his home. This is what he knows. This is his community. He’s built so much here,” Musleh said of her husband.
Adi helped spur more business in downtown Youngstown after he opened the Downtown Circle Convenience and Deli in 2011 and later the Circle Hookah and Bar.
“We didn’t just lose one parent; we are losing both of our parents,” said Lina Adi, Musleh and Adi’s daughter. “It hurts. We are going to continue to live here and we are going to continue to run this family business, but we are going to do it with broken hearts that we don’t have our parents here.”
A statement that Adi’s first marriage in 1980 was a fraud is what led to his deportation, even though his first wife later recanted the claim, saying she signed the statement under duress when immigration agents questioned her.
Adi fought, but his case was never heard in court. A 2013 private bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, protected Adi from deportation until President Donald J. Trump’s administration nixed that last year.
“It ripped a part of our family,” Musleh said of the deportation. “And not just the family, [it’s] the community – the whole city. He’s part of this city, and he was helping this city grow. When they take a person like him out of here, it affects everything around him.”
As the airport terminal bustle went on around her, Musleh gave a tearful goodbye. She hugged each family member and friend – a group of about 20 people – as other flyers looked on.
Musleh waved them all goodbye as she walked into the Transportation Security Administration line.
Her two daughters, Rania and Lina, brothers, Ghassan and Ahmad Musleh, and a longtime friend and employee, Ithica Brown, all waved back.
“It’s a big disappointment when you see families break up,” Ghassan said.