New York-based designer Karim Rashid has revealed a “crazy journey” that includes him being stopped by US Border Control at JFK airport.
In a post on his Facebook page, Rashid – who was born in Egypt, and grown up in Canada – said he was held by the USA’s Global Entry system after flying home to New York from Tbilisi, Georgia.
This happened even though he has been a legal US citizen for the last 13 years.
“After flying 18 hours from Tbilisi, Georgia, I landed in JFK to be rejected at Global Entry. I was put in the border customs and immigration room for over an hour. I watched many immigrants come in and out and I was the longest in the room.”
The designer, who was the keynote speaker at the 2014 designMENA Summit, claims he is being targeted because of his name, which he believes is on a watch list.
He said he was held in a “dirty disgusting space” and kept under surveillance while he went to the bathroom, but was eventually allowed through after authorities received a phone call verifying his identity.
“This happened to me after 9/11 for about four years until I became a USA citizen,” he added.
“Apparently my name is on some watch list again. It stopped 13 years ago after getting a US passport, but now I am not sure what the solution will be.”
Once described by Time magazine as the “most famous industrial designer in all the Americas”, Rashid’s best-known works include the Snoop and Woopy chair and the Bobble water flask.