What’s the Story Here?

I’m not sure what to make of this. I know little of the background. But I wanted to flag the report to find out more and see if others can shed more light.

There’s a post at ArtsJournal.com about a musician named Boujemaa Razgui who is a Canadian citizen who lives in New York with a Green Card. He’s an accomplished flautist who plays various handmade flutes around the world. To quote the post by Norman Lebrecht, he travels and performs with “a variety of flutes of varying ethnicity, each made by himself over years for specific types of ancient and modern performance.” To cut to the chase, he was flying into JFK from Madrid a week ago when customs officials decided they were ‘agricultural products’ and destroyed them all on the spot.

Razgui gave Lebrecht more details here. And Lebrecht reprints an email from Razgui here. As Lebrecht notes, Razgui does not appear to be fluent in English. And perhaps that contributed to some confusion in the incident with customs officials.

Reading between the lines, one wonders whether what appears to be Razgui’s North African background may have figured into the mix as well. But again, the claim didn’t seem to be that these could be weapons of some sort but rather that they were ‘agricultural products.’

I’ll leave it at that since I do not know enough of the background of this story to say more. May main purpose is simply to let more people know that this happened and hopefully help get to the bottom of what seems to be an awful turn of events, if small and little noticed in the grand context of all the many terrible things that happen in the world.