Nahidh Shaou is an Iraqi Christian who came to America when he was 5 years old with his parents and younger siblings. He and his family were able to escape the country just before the rise of Saddam Hussein.
When Nahidh turned 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served between 1979 and 1981 in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, before being discharged with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when he was 20.
"My uncle is the definition of a patriot," Shaya told PJ Media. "He served this country when he wasn't even a citizen. He is an American by every standard except paperwork. He's been here since he was five and doesn't even remember Iraq."
While being away in Korea serving the only country he had ever known, Nahidh lost his father, and shortly after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Nahidh was the only son and was suddenly left to take care of his mother and seven younger sisters. He developed depression, guilt, anxiety, and PTSD.
At the time, there was little help for veterans suffering from PTSD, which made it easy for them to fall into the dangerous trap of depression. In Nahidh's case, this led to him robbing a McDonals's, and ultimately spending nearly 34 years in prison.
While in prison he earned several degrees and certificates, helped his fellow inmates, and always held a job.
"My uncle received his welding certificate during his time," Shaya, the niece, recalled. "He would send me scaled sketches of things he would build for me when he came home."
Nahidh, along with roughly 300 fellow Iraqi Christians, is awaiting deportation back to a country which was never considered home.
"It's inhumane, unjust, and irresponsible to deport a Christian and U.S. Army veteran to a war-torn country where ISIS is committing Christian genocide," Tiara Shaya, niece of Nahidh Shaou, told PJ Media in an email statement. "This is not just a deportation. It's a death sentence."
The Easter story we know demonstrates the idea of "second chances." It perfectly portrays the ultimate power of mercy, forgiveness, justice and hope.
As Christians, we believe President Trump should pardon Nahidh and the other convicted refugees who face the horrifying reality of being deported to a country practicing Christian genocide.
Please join us in praying for Nahidh and all of the other Iraqi Christian refugees. To read more about the story of Nahidh, click here.
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