A YouTube star says he was forced off a flight for speaking Arabic

By The Economist online

DELTA AIR LINES found itself at the centre of a social-media storm when Adam Saleh, a YouTube personality who posts about life as a Muslim American, was removed from one of its flights for—apparently—no greater crime than speaking Arabic. Mr Saleh is not the first passenger of Middle Eastern descent to allege discriminatory treatment by airline staff and passengers. But, true to his profession, he may be the first to have recorded an encounter in real time (see link). At the time of writing, nine hours after disembarkation, his video had been retweeted an incredible 556,000 times on Twitter.

According to Mr Saleh, who has 2.2m followers on YouTube, the incident began when he telephoned his Arabic-speaking mother while waiting to depart from London for New York. At this point, he claims, a female passenger told him to speak in English—kicking off an angry exchange between him, the woman and her husband. At some point between that encounter and the beginning of the video, more than 20 passengers reported feeling uncomfortable about Mr Saleh’s behaviour. He was subsequently removed from the…

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Category: Business and finance, Gulliver

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