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Farris Hassan
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    (1989- )
    Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Teen traveled unaccompanied and without his parents knowledge to war-torn Iraq to interview locals for an assignment in a high school immersion journalism course
    With $1,800, flew from Miami to Kuwait to Lebanon to Baghdad back to Miami (December 11, 2005-January 1, 2006)
    Member of the private Pine Crest High School's Republican Party club
    He ditched the final week of school to pull his stunt.
    He tried to cross from Kuwait to Iraq by taxi, but was turned back by 15 armed guards.
    The cab ride was $250 and he argued about it, nearly getting punched out by the driver.
    He doesn't speak Arabic, which created a language barrier.
    He was narked out by AP reporters who were stunned that a high school kid from the U.S. was milling about without escort.
    He is lucky he wasn't kidnapped or killed.
    His escapade put his folks through unbelievable anguish.
    Many media headlines have used variations of the Matthew Broderick movie - such as 'Farris Hassan's Day Off.'
    He called a press conference, then chickened out and had his sister read a statement because he didn't want to face the media (January 2, 2006).
    His parents were born in Iraq, but immigrated to the U.S. to seek a better life.
    He is a straight A high school student.
    He eventually called his parents who arranged a flight to Lebanon to stay with family friends before securing his flight to Baghdad.
    His classmates say he is known for belief in his convictions and not backing down in an argument.
    As one stated, 'I definitely think he took it a little far, but that's Farris so I'm not really surprised that he did this.'
    He completed his assignment, getting interviews from English speaking locals and U.S. troops.
    He wanted to understand better what Iraqis are living through, stating, 'I thought I'd go the extra mile for that, or rather, a few thousand miles.'
    His folks are grateful he returned safely, though his mother said he's in for severe punishment.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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