Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Press Release - 891 Days - Canadian family forcibly held in Egypt. Canadian citizen Sarah Attia needs you to be her voice.

Ahmad Attia

891 Days

Canadian family forcibly held in Egypt.

Canadian citizen Sarah Attia needs you to be her voice.
891 days of this ordeal is far too long.


Canadian permanent-resident, Khaled Al-Qazzaz, was illegally detained by the Egyptian military in July 2013 and held for 558 days in solitary confinement without charge and no reason being provided for his lengthy incarceration. Canadian citizen Sarah Attia, his Toronto born wife, and thousands of Canadians spoke up and called for the former government’s intervention. Khaled was finally released in January 2015 by order of the Egyptian Prosecutor General. As a result of the brutal conditions of his confinement, Khaled now has multiple medical problems that require prompt attention.


Sarah and her four children travelled to Egypt shortly after Khaled’s release to accompany him home for admission into a Canadian hospital.  Their plan was to return after two weeks but to their dismay the 558 day ordeal did not end.


Instead of allowing the family to return home to Canada, the Egyptian authorities have instead retaliated against Sarah. She was detained with her children at the Cairo airport twice without legal justification and a travel ban was recently issued against her husband without cause. Her savings, intended to cover her husband’s medical surgery were confiscated, and the government has ordered the closure of her bank accounts.


The most severe aspect of the situation is the Egyptian authorities’ have continued to delay granting her a visa extension - a requirement for any Canadian residing in Egypt. Sarah is now in legal limbo in Egypt as she cannot leave the country.


For the past three months, Sarah has remained hopeful that this matter would be resolved, but to no avail.


The situation in Egypt continues to worsen. Global Affairs Canada has issued a travel advisory advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Egypt due to the unpredictable security situation. Last week’s world squash tournament, due to be held in Cairo, was cancelled after 11 teams including the Canadian, American and British teams, declined to travel to Cairo because of lack of security.


Supporters have launched a website to allow Canadians to share their concerns with their Members of Parliament. Within the last two weeks, over 1000 Canadians, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, have emailed over 135 Members of Parliament across the country calling on them to speak to the Right Honourable Prime Minister and the Honourable Minister Stéphane Dion and request their personal intervention.


The freedoms, rights and, most of all, the safety of four Canadian children and their parents are at risk. Sarah Attia, her husband Khaled Al-Qazzaz, and thousands of Canadians are calling on the Canadian government to urgently resolve this matter and bring this family home before Christmas.


Sarah’s family members along with the Honourable Senator Mobina Jaffer are holding a press conference today on Parliament Hill in the Charles Lynch Room at 10 am.

Call to Action:


#KQFamily supporters are calling on Canadians to continue emailing their Members of Parliament through  


Recent Media:


A Canadian family in limbo in Egypt

The Hill Times, November 30, 2015



Media Interviews


Ahmad Attia
Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or

Nadia Abu-Zahra
Associate Professor
School of International Development and Global Studies
University of Ottawa
Friend of Sarah and Khaled

Dr. Mohamed Fadel
Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law
University of Toronto

Erna Paris
Author, Historian, Journalist
Sarah Attia’s friend and supporter

Prof. Dr. Greg Evans
Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto
Sarah Attia Undergraduate and Master’s Supervisor


Contact info for the above individuals can be provided by Ahmad Attia at 647-292-5049 or