“It’s crazy to know that he died alone in a country he’d never been in,” Bolis said.
She remembers him as a man with a huge heart. He had been homeless, she said, but even in those difficult circumstances he would call to say he wanted to take her kids to get ice cream. “Jimmy was seriously the most nicest guy,” said Bolis.
And he was deeply troubled in Iraq. His sister remembers him saying, “I don’t understand the language. I don’t understand the money. I don’t understand the street. I can’t explain to you how different it is here.” He wanted to be put back in jail in the U.S. instead, she said.
A friend of his who had contact with him in Baghdad told NPR he thinks Aldaoud had been planning to kill himself, though his sister said she doesn’t believe he would. Naser al-Shimary said he urged his friend to stay strong.
“He told me — he’s like, ‘I can’t stay here. I’m not going to be able to stay here.’ I told him, ‘Jimmy, I know what you’re thinking.’ I told him, ‘You gotta hold on,’ ” said Shimary, who was also deported from the U.S. and met Aldaoud when they were both in detention there. “He’s like, ‘They took me away from my home, my family.’ I told him, ‘Jimmy, there is more to your life than that.’ ”
Shimary said he and Aldaoud used to play chess together in detention. Shimary, speaking by phone from the south of Iraq, said Aldaoud had been living with a friend but didn’t have money for rent or food.
‘They Know I’m Different’: Deportee Struggles In Iraq After Decades Living In U.S.
“That kid didn’t have to die. He didn’t do nothing. Jimmy was a good man. Not like that — he didn’t have to go out like that,” Shimary said.
This our fucking COUNTRY!