The owners of a Philly pie joint called Pizza Point, Maher Khalil and Anas Ayyad, claim they were attempting to board their Southwest flight from Chicago back to Philadelphia when they were “asked to step aside during the boarding process because a fellow passenger said he was afraid to fly with them.” NBC Chicago has details on the upsetting incident:

“The gate agent told them apologetically they wouldn’t be allowed to board because a passenger was afraid to fly with them after overhearing the men speaking Arabic. ‘I didn’t know what to do, so I called the cops,’ Khalil said. The flight was delayed and the two men were ultimately allowed to board after being questioned again by airport security and police. The airline issued a statement acknowledging a brief disagreement with two customers.”


The friends ended up boarding the flight back home, but some of the customers made the flight “outright uncomfortable” for the two men. They said they felt “humiliated” by the incident. Khalil explains exactly what went down:

[pullquote]”We’re walking down the aisle and I’d already told him [Ayyad] to smile and act like nothing was wrong. People kept asking me, ‘What’s in that box?!’ I was carrying a small white box. And the passengers made me open the box! So I shared my baklava with them.”[/pullquote]

Classic example of fear and hate KOed by love and baklava.

[via NBC Chicago]