Adam Saleh escorted off Delta flight ‘for speaking Arabic’


Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 22 December 2016| 22 Rabi ul Awal 1438

American YouTube star Adam Saleh, who performed in Dubai in September, has accused Delta Airlines of escorting him off a flight ‘for speaking Arabic’.

Saleh, 22, posted the incident on social media on Wednesday saying passengers heard him speaking in Arabic and “felt uncomfortable and called flight attendants”.

He was on a flight from London to New York with his friend Slim Albaher, another YouTube personality, who was also escorted off the plane, the Guardian reported.

“They kicked us off the plane because a lady, because a lot of people felt uncomfortable,” Saleh says in the video that he posted on Twitter that has since been shared thousands of times. “Delta airlines just kicked us out for speaking Arabic.”

Saleh said he had been talking to his mother on the phone when fellow passengers complained, and he was told to leave.

“You guys are racists. I spoke a different language and you say you feel uncomfortable! I can’t believe my eyes. We spoke a different language and now there are six white people against us bearded men.”

Several passengers could be seen voicing their support for Saleh, with one calling out the airline staff in protest, but others at the rear of the aircraft seemed to approve, waving him off and saying “Good Bye.”

After an hours-long delay involving more security checks, Saleh said he was finally able to board a flight to New York with a different airline – and would head straight to see his lawyer.

It was the latest of several cases in the past year in which passengers have run into trouble on American flights for speaking Arabic – or in one case for writing mathematical equations that passengers mistook for Arabic.

In a statement on the incident, the airline said it was investigating allegations of discrimination.

“Two customers were removed from this flight and later rebooked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort,” it said. “We’re conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect.”

During his trip to the Dubai, Saleh spoke to Gulf News tabloid! about being an Arab-American in the US.

“Racism is back,” he said. “Back in the days, when I was in elementary school, around third, fourth grade, when 9/11 happened, it was literally crazy. The school I was in, I was the only Middle Eastern American kid… I was like an alien in school. Throughout the years, I ended up having to hide that I’m Arab ’cause I was so scared that if I would say that I’m Arab, they would bully me the way that they did in the third grade.

“But after a while, I realised it was a really dumb thing that I did, and you have to just be proud who you are. Right now, being Arab-American is something, I guess, inspirational. It means a lot. Because you go through so much, especially with all this Donald Trump nonsense going on.”

Following Wednesday’s incident, #BoycottDelta began trending on Twitter.

Source – Gulf news