An American is seeking a pardon and financial compensation from the United Arab Emirates after being held for nine months for his role in an online parody video.

Thirty-year-old Shezanne Cassim (sheh-ZAHN' KAH'-sihm) of Woodbury tells The Associated Press he has had trouble getting a job in the U.S. since he was arrested in Dubai in 2013. He says his family was nearly bankrupted in the fight for his release.

Cassim says he hoped to pursue an aviation consulting career in the UAE, where he grew up, but he's now banned from entering the country.

He wrote to the Emirati president in March but said he hasn't had a response.

Officials at the UAE's embassy in Washington, D.C., say they can't comment because it's a legal matter.