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Philly Business Owner, Friend Nearly Barred From Flight For Speaking Arabic

Xenophobia is like a bad sinus infection. It just keeps pounding away.
Philly Business Owner, Friend Nearly Barred From Flight For Speaking Arabic
Image from: Facebook

Another brick in the house hate built, this time in Chicago. Seriously, people. Get a grip on yourselves. And that goes for the media, too.

Via Philly Mag:

Two Philadelphians were delayed on a flight back from Chicago’s Midway Airport because a passenger was uncomfortable with them speaking Arabic, they said.

“We’re American citizens just like everybody else,” Maher Khalil told NBC 10 last night. He couldn’t be reached today at Pizza Point, the Feltonville pizza shop he owns.

Khalil, 29, and Anas Ayyad, 28, said they were profiled while attempting to board a Southwest Airlines flight back from Chicago to PHL on Wednesday night. A gate agent told them they wouldn't be allowed to board after another passenger said she was uncomfortable flying with them after hearing the pair speaking Arabic. Khalil and Ayyad moved to Philadelphia from Palestine 15 years ago, they told NBC 10. Kahlil told Fox 29 he is a U.S. citizen.

The two called 911 after being denied entry to the flight. The two were held at the counter for about 20 minutes. "After like 20 minutes of waiting, holding me, making me feel like I'm a terrorist in front of everyone in the airport — passengers coming by, asking what's going on,” Khalil told Fox 29. Eventually, the pair were allowed to fly home to Philadelphia, though the flight was delayed.

Khalil said, once on the flight, passengers kept asking him what was in the white box he was carrying. So he shared his baklava with fellow passengers on board.


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