Friday, December 30, 2005

Risky Journey by Farris

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A 16-year-old from Florida who traveled to one of the world's most dangerous places without telling his parents left Baghdad on Friday to begin his journey home, the U.S. Embassy said, drawing to a close an adventure that could have cost him his life.
The mother of Farris Hassan, the prep school junior whom U.S. officials took custody of in Baghdad this week, said she was "grateful" he was headed back. Shatha Atiya said she already knew what her first words would be to her son.
"'Thank God you're alive,' then I'll collapse for a few hours and then sit down and have a long discussion about his consequences," she said in Fort Lauderdale.
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More Local and National coverage:

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A 16-year-old Florida student traveled to Iraq for a school project during the Christmas holidays and he didn't tell his parents.
Farris Hassan, a junior at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, was taking a high school class in "immersion journalism" and it seems he took the idea of immersion all the way to Iraq.

Images: Teen Travels To Iraq
"I thought I'd go the extra mile for that, or rather, a few thousand miles," he told The Associated Press.
Using money he had saved, he purchased a $900 plane ticket. He then skipped classes to write about Iraq with first-hand experience.
He reportedly left the United States on Dec. 11 and flew first to Kuwait where he tried to cross into Iraq. The border was closed, however, due to the Iraqi elections.
He called home and his father advised him to come home. Hassan insisted on going to Baghdad. On advice from his father, he stayed with friends in Beirut, Lebanon for 10 days before flying to Baghdad on Christmas.
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What would you do if your teenager took off to Iraq? (smiling)

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