Farris Hassan's Day Off

Farris Hassan, a 16-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida decided to take a [few] day[s] off and go to Baghdad.

Hassan, a junior at Pine Crest School, a prep academy of about 700 students in Fort Lauderdale, recently studied immersion journalism – a writer who lives the life of his subject in order to better understand it.

The teenager, whose parents were born in Iraq but have lived in the United States for about 35 years, says he wanted to travel to Baghdad to better understand what Iraqis are living through.

“I thought I’d go the extra mile for that, or rather, a few thousand miles,” he told The Associated Press.

Skipping a week of school, he left the country on Dec. 11, telling only two high school friends of his plans. His travels took him to Kuwait and Lebanon before he arrived in Iraq on Christmas Day.


His brother said that he speaks no Arabic and would have to have had a translator to even try his immersion journalism. The AP office in Baghdad that he went to called the US Embassy. Farris is now on his way home.

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