Dick first met Ahmed Abdullah in 2003. Ahmed was his interview "fixer" and translator, and the two quickly became friends.
Dick interviewed Ahmed for The Story last April. Ahmed was considering moving his wife and two children out of the country, but vowed that he himself would stay. Were he ever to leave Baghdad, Ahmed used to say, he would die, like a fish out of water.
Since that time, Ahmed has been keeping an audio diary for The Story. He's documented personal struggles like moving his wife and children to Syria, and professional engagements, including a stint as a journalist embedded with the U.S. forces.
But Ahmed recently hit a personal limit on how much of Baghdad's volatility he can endure. It had become impossible to ignore that staying in Baghdad could mean getting killed. Now he's thinking of tearing himself out of Baghdad's embrace.