YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Three years and seven months after being deported to Jordan, local businessman Al Adi has returned to Youngstown.
Upon his return, he has spent his time reuniting with family and friends for the first time in years.
“I think really all the way up until we knew he was inside of the United States we were just filled with mixed emotions and then when we found out he was actually here, it was a crazy feeling,” Adi’s daughter Lina Adi said.
Full of smiles and surrounded by friends and family, Al Adi stood in the Phelps Street Plaza on Saturday to share his experiences upon returning to the city.
He said he was allowed back into the U.S. on a humanitarian visa, also known as an emergency visa.
“This builds the base, or puts down a base of continuing with my paperwork to get my permanent residency and then my citizenship hopefully in the future,” Adi said.
Al and his wife Fidaa Musleh said his lawyer David Leapold has more information on the exact process of applying for full U.S. citizenship.
Leapold was not available for comment, but Adi said he is willing to take whatever steps necessary.
He also plans to get back into business after owning the Downtown Circle Convenience Store and Deli for 39 years before being deported.
He’s eyeing his next project, which would involve turning the old Pig Iron Press into a cigar lounge — but since being back, he’s had a lot on his plate, and nothing is set in stone just yet.
One thing Adi knows for sure — now that he’s back, he doesn’t want to leave.
“Youngstown is my home and the people of Youngstown are my big family, so that’s why I’m committed to Youngstown. I will never go out of this town. I will always be here,” Adi said.
He said his first priority upon returning was being with his family which is why he was not available for comment earlier.