‘What’s In The Pocket?’

‘What’s In The Pocket?’

#ShitTSASays chronicles the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s ludicrous mistreatment and profiling of Muslims while flying. Send your story to editorial@muslimgirl.com.


Nada Awwad

During the summer of 2014, I was traveling from Montreal — where I had spent five weeks in a French immersion program — to Amman, Jordan, where I would be crossing the border into Palestine.

While I have never experienced overt racism or racial profiling — to my knowledge at least — in an airport, I had two humorous encounters.

As I was going through security to get into my gate, the security agent pointed out that my water bottle was not empty so I began to drink it as quickly as possible. As I’m drinking my water, I heard someone jokingly say, “Chug, chug, chug, chug, chug.”

When I looked up to see who it was, I was surprised to see that it was a different security agent, I could not stop laughing.

Moments later, as my carry-on was going through the scanner it was stopped because they couldn’t tell what was in the outer pocket. A security agent looks at me and said, “What’s in the pocket?”

To which I responded, “I don’t know, open it up.”

He looked worried and confused and again repeated, “What’s in the pocket?” in a more stern manner. Again I said, “I don’t remember, just open it up and look.” He began slowly opening the pocket with a look of worry on his face, he reached in slowly and pulled out my travel-size French-English dictionary.

As soon as I saw it I said, “Oh yeah! My dictionary! I forgot I had that there, haha.” He did not look amused at all.

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‘What’s In The Pocket?’
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