Joy abounds at tonight's celebration for Al Adi


LIBERTY

What would have been a sad farewell for family and friends of Youngstown businessman Al Adi became a joyous celebration Saturday night after Adi was granted a delay of his federal government-ordered deportation set for today.

Hugs abounded, including one from Heider Haddad, 7, son of Fawzi and Karma Haddad of Mineral Ridge.

While wrapped in Ali’s arms, Heider whispered: “Congratulations for staying in America.”

“Tonight was to be a goodbye party. But once we got the stay we wanted to keep it going. There is still a big fight in front of us. We have to be alert and on our toes,” said Adi, who was born Amer Adi Othman in Amman, Jordan.

“This is my city and this is my country. I’m not going nowhere,” said Adi, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd packing the Arab American Community Center on Belgrade Avenue.

Adi said he expects to learn what his next step is at a meeting Jan. 16 in Cleveland with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which recently fitted him with an ankle bracelet to track his every move.

Adi said he is not relaxing.

“I don’t want to think of anything except being alert,” he said.

Read more about the event in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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