July 22, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Canadian Supporters Break the Silence to Bring
Sarah and her Family Home Before School
After 542 days of campaigning, on January 11 2015, Egyptian Authorities released Khaled Al-Qazzaz without ever charging him, and cleared him of any investigations. Sarah Attia, his Canadian-born wife and their four children, booked a two-way Toronto-Cairo flight in February with the intention to bring Khaled home and reunite their family two weeks later. It has been five months since his release and Sarah, Khaled and the children have not been able to leave Egypt.
The family attempted to travel on April 15, 2015 and after seven hours of detainment by airport authorities they were blocked from leaving the country and returned back into Cairo. Khaled’s passport and Sarah’s money were confiscated and have not been returned to them. The Egyptian Prosecutor’s office has confirmed repeatedly that the family is not on a travel ban.
The family has chosen to remain patient hoping that their safe return to Canada could be arranged through diplomatic efforts. Sarah and Khaled believe it is just a matter of time before the situation is cleared up by Egyptian Authorities and they can return home.
However, given the time that has elapsed, supporters have insisted on reengaging with the campaign and to publicly advocate for Canadian authorities to offer additional efforts to bring the family home - #Home4School.
Friends of the #KQFamily have launched a new campaign, independent of Sarah and Khaled, to urge the Canadian government to intervene and make sure that the entire family is home in August in time for the new school year. Their children - Abulrahman, Amena, Fatema and Tahrir, have missed school for long enough. Also, Khaled's medical situation persists.
Friends of Sarah and Khaled are very troubled and hope that Egyptian Authorities will cooperate to clear this matter to facilitate a smooth exit from Egypt immediately. They also hope that the funds confiscated from Sarah will be returned to her as it is required for Khaled’s medical treatment and the family’s living expenses.
“Sarah has informed me that the Canadians are helping her and her family and it is just a matter of time. But we believe it’s not enough. Khaled has been released and for five months has been extremely respectful of the Egyptian system and therefore there should be no reason for this Canadian family to live in limbo and to continue to face this ordeal,” says Asma Ali, a university peer and close friend of Sarah and Khaled.
Sarah and Khaled are unavailable to speak.
Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or firstname.lastname@example.org for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.