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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > School principal says Dr.Redha Hassan gave son permission for Iraq trip -Dad helped Florida teen get visa - was himself in Baghdad

School principal says Dr.Redha Hassan gave son permission for Iraq trip -Dad helped Florida teen get visa - was himself in Baghdad

Father claims to have returned from his own trip to Iraq on December 10th
January 10, 2006

MIM: The brazen mendacity of the Hassan family is clearly illustrated by this December 30th article in which the principal of Farris Hassan's school tells the press that the student had his father's permission to travel to Iraq. In the same article Hayder Hassan, the brother denies this and claims that his father "was just covering for Farris" so he wouldn't get in trouble with the school". In the days following the Hassan's parents told a different story to every newspaper alternately denying they knew of the trip, while Farris Hassan proclaimed on an MSNBC interview that his Dad "knew something but not completely". Mother Shatya Atilyas told Good Morning America that her son's father "helped a little bit" in facilitating the trip while the father claims to one paper that "the first he ever heard of Hassan's departure was via an email from Kuwait".

One blogger had this to say about the story:

I knew more of this story would come out...Parents didn't know my (_|_)


The 16-year-old boy who flew from Miami to Iraq had permission from his father to do so, the head of his Fort Lauderdale school said Friday
.
Pine Crest School president Lourdes M. Cowgill said that Dr. Redha Hassan, dad of 16-year-old Farris Hassan, told school officials his son had his OK to go to Iraq to learn more about the current political situation there

"The dad said he had given Farris permission but told him not to say anything for safety reasons," Cowgill told The Miami Herald.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews...aq/13517212.htm

Even more will probably come out now..that the FBI I'm sure will get involved...and find out the father is really a supporter of Terrorism and like all of them...use Women and Children to do their Dirty work because they are really cowards.

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=414057&st=15

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School principal: Teen had dad's permission to go to Iraq

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/13517212.htm

By Evan S. Benn
ebenn@MiamiHerald.com

The 16-year-old boy who flew from Miami to Iraq had permission from his father to do so, the head of his Fort Lauderdale school said Friday.

Pine Crest School president Lourdes M. Cowgill said that Dr. Redha Hassan, dad of 16-year-old Farris Hassan, told school officials his son had his OK to go to Iraq to learn more about the current political situation there.

Farris says he wanted to travel to Baghdad to better understand what Iraqis are living through.

But Farris' brother, Hayder Hassan, said both parents were shocked to learn that Farris was in Iraq, and that his father was just covering for Farris so he wouldn't get into too much trouble with the school.

Farris is scheduled to come home tonight, his brother said.

"The dad said he had given Farris permission but told him not to say anything for safety reasons," Cowgill told The Miami Herald.

Farris left South Florida on Dec. 11, skipping a week of school.

Cowgill said school officials are handling Farris' situation as an unexcused absence and are in the process of deciding what repercussions he will face when he returns.

"He's a very good student, and he's always been in good standing with us," Cowgill said. "I imagine there will be some discipline situation, but right now we're trying to figure out what to do with that."

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MIM: Redha Hassan not only knew of his son's trip he helped him obtain a visa and said that he himself was in Baghdad when he received a call from his son in Kuwait (!). According to the Pinecrest School principal Lourdes Cowgill, Redha Hassan had said he had full knowledge of his son's trip and even given his son permission to go.

An analysis of his and his ex wife Shatya Atiya's subsequent statements to the media are all defacto lies and show and that their playing the role of concerned parent may be the very opposite of the facts.

1) "...He (Hassan) again called his father, who told him to come home. But the teen insisted on going to Baghdad. His father advised him to stay with family friends in Beirut, Lebanon, so he flew there, spending 10 days before flying to Baghdad on Christmas.

His ride at Baghdad International Airport, arranged by the family friends in Lebanon, dropped him off at an international hotel where Americans were staying..." December 29,2005

http://www.nola.com/newsflash/international/index.ssf?/base/international-28/1135891454138990.xml&storylist=international

2)"... After his arrival, Atiya said she received an e-mail from her son, saying, "I'll be in Iraq for a while," but he did not say how he planned to cross into the country.

At his request, Atiya said she faxed documents to help him secure a visa, and after researching the fax number, she discovered he was in Kuwait.

The boy's father, Dr. Redha Hassan, told The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that after Farris failed to cross into Iraq, he told his son he would arrange for security to accompany the teen once the Iraq border opened..." December 30, 2005http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/30/teen.iraq/

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3) Redha Hassan feigns ignorance at his son's motives and claims that he has been working to bring his son home ever since he found out that he was in Kuwait. Yet it was Redha Hassan himself who arranged for Farris's visa to Iraq and arranged for him to be flown to Baghdad.


"The subject is Farris, his safety, his mission, why did he go?" Redha Hassan said. "The kid put his life on the line while other kids were having fun during Christmas and New Year."

"...Dr. Redha Hassan, the teen's father, said Saturday that he has been working to bring his son home since finding out he was in Kuwait. He did not discuss the specifics of Hassan's travel plans because of safety concerns..."
"...The subject is Farris, his safety, his mission, why did he go?" Redha Hassan said. "The kid put his life on the line while other kids were having fun during Christmas and New Year..." CBS News December 31, 2005
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/12/31/iraq/main1172362.shtml

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Records show that in 1985, Redha Hassan, living in South Florida, was charged in connection with a scheme to print false Iraqi passports and military identification cards. A judge later dropped the charges. At the time, Hassan told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that his brother was executed and family members were kicked out of Iraq without papers, and that he wanted to help others similarly dispossessed.

Redha Hassan says he didn't want to kill his son's passion to help the democracy movement. "He wanted to show he was braver than me," the father said.

Once he learned of his son's plans, he said he arranged for the boy to fly into Baghdad and be met by private security and taken to a local hotel so he could fulfill his quest. But when the boy entered the Associated Press office on Tuesday, he was alone and said his parents did not know where he was, the news agency reported.

In contrast to the father's story, a U.S. government official speaking on the condition of anonymity to the Associated Press said it was the U.S. military who kept the boy safe.

12/31/05 http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/nation/13524677.htm

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The only notification Hassan left his family before his departure for Kuwait about two weeks ago was an email, his father told the newspaper.

'He said, 'Don't worry about me, I will be safe," Redha Hassan said. 'I said to myself, 'You have no idea what you're getting yourself into.' For 100 dollars, they kidnap people. The suicide bombers, they look for foreigners. He's young, with an American passport and doesn't speak a word of Arabic.' December 31,2005

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/northamerica/article_1072526.php/U.S._teenager_sneaks_away_to_Iraq_to_witness_democracy_war_zone

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His parents said they did not know about his departure until hearing from him in Kuwait. His father, Dr. Redha Hassan, said he was "disappointed and fearful" when he found out his son had gone on his own.

"My primary concern was not having him snatched in the first five minutes and beheaded on television," Hassan told The Miami Herald on Friday evening.

Hassan fled Iraq 33 years ago, fearing he would be killed. His son,

Hassan said his son recognized that he lived a life far different from those in his father's native country.

"The Iraqi people are a peace-loving people, and Farris has picked up on that. I didn't expect Farris to be so powerful in his feelings. My children, they have never seen poverty, and they have lived in luxury all their lives," Hassan said.

The father said he had returned Dec. 10 from his own trip to Iraq.

The next day, Farris launched his secret voyage. Without telling his parents, the idealistic teen purchased a round-trip ticket on KLM Airlines because its policy allows minors to travel alone.

SENT E-MAIL TO PARENTS

Farris notified his family by e-mail when he reached Kuwait City, then spent time interviewing residents of Kuwait, Lebanon and Iraq while staying with relatives of his parents, who live in the Fort Lauderdale area. December 31, 2005 http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13520458.htm

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http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13520458.htm

4) The 16-year-old reveals details of his dangerous travels and said he is concerned the media coverage may have glorified his trip, encouraging "copycats" to embark on a similar adventure.

Farris said that his mother, Shatha Atiya, was unaware of his trip to Iraq. His father, Dr. Redha Hassan, "did not have complete knowledge of all the specifics of my plannings. But he knew a bit more than my mother," Farris said. His parents came to the U.S. decades ago from Iraq. Farris gave the interview Friday after school, Atiya said. She said her son has faced serious repercussions at Fort Lauderdale's Pine Crest, the private preparatory school where Farris is a junior. He could not be reached for comment Sunday night... " January 9. 2005 Miami Herald http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/13580933.htm

5"..."His parents said they did not know about his departure until hearing from him in Kuwait. His father, Dr. Redha Hassan, said he was "disappointed and fearful" when he found out his son had gone on his own. "My primary concern was not having him snatched in the first five minutes and beheaded on television," Hassan told The Miami Herald on Friday ..." "...Hassan said he has often visited his home country, sometimes without telling anyone -- a trait his son seems to have inherited..." http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13520458.htm

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Dad helped Florida teen get Iraq visa

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=dad+helped+Florida+teen+get+Iraq+visa+&btnG=Search

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- Farris Hassan, the Florida teen who sneaked off to Baghdad last month, is back with his family after the unauthorized three-week trip to the Middle East.

"I just want to hug him. Thank goodness he's alive," his mother, Shatha Atiya, told CNN.

Farris, 16, landed at Miami International Airport shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday. His mother met him at the airport and quickly took him to his father's home.

He made no comment to reporters after his arrival, and Atiya said, "It's not time to explain anything."

"The whole thing is very overwhelming," she said. "We just want to go home and relax."

Speaking on CNN's "American Morning" Monday, Atiya said she was "surprised that a minor could get a ticket overseas, international and visas, but I also understand his father helped him a bit."

Hassan's father, Redha Hassan, a medical doctor, told CNN that he had helped his son get a visa into Iraq from Beirut. The elder Hassan said he was leaving Iraq himself when the teen called, unable to get into the country from Kuwait. He told him to go to Lebanon and said he spoke with him almost daily. (Route)

When asked why he helped, Hassan said his son had come so far by the time he called that he couldn't see not helping him.

Redha Hassan and Atiya, who lives in Tampa, are divorced. Farris spends most of his time in Fort Lauderdale, where his father lives.

Atiya told CNN Monday that there will be consequences for the unauthorized trip.

"We're going to sit down and discuss consequences," she said. "He understands what he put us through, and he's flexible about that."

Farris made his way to Baghdad, where he checked into a hotel and last week walked into the Associated Press bureau to volunteer as a reporter. AP staffers contacted the U.S. Embassy, which sent American soldiers to pick up the high-school journalism student.

AP writer Patrick Quinn said the teen was "blissfully ignorant of his surroundings and where he was."

"Farris walked into the most dangerous city on this planet, especially if you are an unaccompanied American, let alone a teenager who doesn't speak any Arabic," Quinn told CNN.

His sister, Shanaz Hassan, said the family was informed Friday night by the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait that the teen had been taken to that country before his return home.

In an essay he penned before his journey, Farris expressed his desire to help the people of Iraq and said he felt guilty for living in a large house in South Florida, driving a nice car and hanging out with friends without the fear of suicide bombers.

Atiya told CNNFriday that her son had asked her for permission to travel to Iraq immediately "to see it firsthand how are things transpiring in Iraq."

"He wanted to see how the people [feel] about democracy and the war in Iraq," she said. "When he heard my negative response, he decided to take things in his own hands, I guess." (CNN Access)

The U.S. government advises citizens not to visit Iraq.

"The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous," the department's Web site says, citing the risk of kidnapping and murder.

"Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue," including in Baghdad's "Green Zone," the travel warning says.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann contributed to this report.

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