Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 August 2019

Emirati composer detained at New York airport

Mohammed Fairouz, a longtime resident in the United States, said he was pulled aside on April 24 at John F Kennedy International Airport and held for nearly four hours without explanation.
Mohammed Fairouz said he was detained at JFK airport on April 24 and was held for nearly four hours. Photo by Samantha West / File
Mohammed Fairouz said he was detained at JFK airport on April 24 and was held for nearly four hours. Photo by Samantha West / File

NEW YORK // A prominent Emirati composer has asked for answers and better attention to the treatment of travellers at US airports after he was detained for hours on his return to New York.

Mohammed Fairouz, a longtime resident in the US, said he was pulled aside on April 24 at John F Kennedy International Airport and held for nearly four hours without explanation.

Fairouz, whose works are frequently played at major institutions around the world, was returning from a string orchestra recording session in Britain.

He was hesitant to say that he was singled out for being Muslim, because most of the dozens of travellers detained with him were from Latin America.

“I don’t feel like a victim,” Fairouz said. “I’m aware that I’m a very privileged person and I can go out and write and speak and have a platform.

“The majority of people in that room don’t have that platform.”

Fairouz is a columnist for several newspapers, including The National.

In his column in the Independent, he said he did not think the incident was linked to US president Donald Trump, who has adopted a tough line on border controls.

Fairouz suspected that border officers were filling quotas.

A US customs and border protection spokesman the agency, saying it has stopped “thousands of violators of US law”.

* Agence France-Presse

Updated: May 2, 2017 04:00 AM

SHARE

SHARE