Bamboozle a sad mistake

  • Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 12:01 a.m.

The FAA might be easing up on airline security regarding the use of iPads and Kindles, but apparently U.S. Customs is as tough as ever.

Or tougher.

During the holidays, Canadian Boujemaa Razgui, a flute virtuoso, flew from Morocco to Boston, where he performs regularly on instruments he made using hard-to-find reeds.

Once there, he discovered that, when the plane stopped at JFK in New York, a U.S. Customs official mistook the flute-like instruments for pieces of bamboo — agriculture items. He destroyed all 13 of them — 11 nays and two kawalas.

Mr. Razgui said he travels in and out of the country frequently with no problem.

It’s no surprise that the Customs agent was unfamiliar with the instruments. Razgui said only about 154 people in the United States play instruments like his.

Which makes it even more difficult for him to cope with the loss. He is scheduled to play in Boston in February. He has been instructed to write to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to resolve the problem.

Somehow the fact that he can read about his sad situation on an iPad during his next plane trip is little consolation.

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