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UC Berkeley student says he was taken off a Southwest flight at LAX for speaking Arabic

UC Berkeley student says he was taken off a Southwest flight at LAX for speaking Arabic

A UC Berkeley student who fled Iraq as a teenager said he was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight at LAX two weeks ago and questioned about why he was speaking in Arabic on his phone.

Before the plane took off, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi made a quick call to his uncle in Baghdad and told him about his experience at an event he had just attended in Los Angeles where United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was speaking.

As Makhzoomi spoke to his uncle, a woman seated in the row ahead of him turned around to stare, he told The Times in an interview.

“This is weird,” he recalled thinking to himself.

A moment later, he told his uncle he’d call him...

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