Ottawa: Sarah Attia and Khaled Al-Qazzaz were welcomed by the Honorable Minister Stéphane Dion and his team this week in his office at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. They thanked Minister Dion for the diplomatic leadership he showed to bring the family home. They discussed the impact of his intervention and that by reuniting their four young children with their father in Canada, he has reestablished their sense of family, security, happiness, and has given them a new start. Khaled and Sarah also recognized MP and Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra's dedication, and that of his staff, to bring this case to an end.
The family also shared with the Minister the progress of their new foundation, the Al-Qazzaz Foundation for Education and Development, where they hope to give back to Canada and the world. The foundation will focus on delivering services and support to disadvantaged communities through innovative online technologies and will launch its first project for Syrian Refugees who have arrived in Canada. By offering cultural awareness, English language services, and mental health support, Sarah and Khaled hope to contribute to the great work the Canadian government started one year ago.
The couple were also welcomed at Parliament Hill by Members of Parliament Arnold Chan, Gary Anandasangaree, Hélène Laverdière and Hon. Senators Mobina Jaffer, Salma Ataullahjan, and Anne Cools who worked very hard to reunite them. The family is grateful to officials across all party lines who intervened to reunite the family and bring Khaled home.
The trip was completed by visits to human rights activists including ICLMG National Coordinator Monia Mazigh, Rideau Institute's Peggy Mason and Gar Pardy, CJFE's Duncan Pike, human rights lawyer Paul Champ, child rights advocate Tara Collins, Amnesty Canada Director Alex Neve and others.
The family expresses their gratitude to all Canadians, human rights activists, journalist, and government officials who dedicated their time and effort to resolving ordeals of Canadian families abroad.