Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

UofT Student and Activist

UofT Education

Khaled moved to Toronto, Canada in 2000 to do a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto (U of T). He completed his masters and then continued to pursue further graduate studies in civil engineering.

Building Community on Campus

MSA Golden Age reunion held at the University of Toronto, August 2012

MSA Golden Age reunion held at the University of Toronto, August 2012

Khaled Al-Qazzaz served as the UTSG MSA President in 2002-2003, a truly defining year for the MSA. As President, Khaled was integral in establishing a new constitution and organizational structure, the Orphan Sponsorship Program, and launching the Students for World Justice committee. He worked tirelessly to solidify bonds with UofT administration and was engaged in several multi-faith initiatives. When the MSA adopted its current organizational structure under the presidency of Asma Maryam Ali in 2009-2010, Khaled was consulted and offered support on the transition process. Even as he moved to Egypt and progressed in his career, Khaled would refer to the importance and necessity of the MSA, and spoke fondly of his time here at UofT and his service to the Muslim community on campus.  His wife, Sarah Attia, was also an active member of the MSA at this time; she also served on the MSA exec as Vice-President

Above all, he instilled a sense of community on campus. In his President’s message at the beginning of the semester, Khaled wrote:
“I have personally experienced over the past few years that one can anticipate what he can accomplish on his own, but in a group of Muslims, with a pure intention and dedication what can be accomplished is far beyond expectations…as we work together, we learn from each other, and together we help one another to accomplish our goals.” (The Muslim Voice, August 2003)

Overview of his Campus Contribution

  • Khaled Al-Qazzaz served as the UTSG MSA President in 2002-2003. Khaled’s wife, Sarah Attia, was also an active member of the MSA at this time; she also served on the MSA exec as Vice-President.  
  • As President, Khaled was integral in establishing a new constitution and organizational structure. When the MSA adopted its current organizational structure under the presidency of Asma Maryam Ali in 2009-2010, Khaled was consulted and offered support on the transition process.
  • It was under Khaled's leadership that SWJ and OSP as we know them today were founded.
  • Khaled developed strong bonds with university administration, and secured one of the highest budgets for a student club offered by the UTSU (formally SAC), for the MSA.  
  • Khaled encouraged collaboration with other student groups, including the Black Students Association and Hilel, and supported interfaith dialogues in collaboration with the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office.  
  • Khaled continued to inspire and guide future UTSG MSA exec years after he was president.
  • Even as he moved to Egypt and progressed in his career, Khaled would refer to the importance and necessity of the MSA, and spoke fondly of his time here at UofT and his service to the Muslim community on campus.  

Orphan Sponsorship

He was instrumental in starting the Orphan Sponsorship Program, a fund raising initiative to sponsor orphans in various countries around the world – ten years later, this program is still going strong, with more orphans sponsored each year than the year before.  To date, over $500,000 has been raised, enabling the sponsorship of over 120 orphans per year, from 20 countries worldwide.

Advocate for Justice

He also initiated the Students for World Justice Committee which was (and still is) actively raising awareness about injustices around the world and how we as Canadians can contribute to alleviating these injustices. His leadership style was unparalleled – he was involved in all the day-to-day activities of the campus community, and was a mentor and role model to students working with the MSA and other organizations as well. He was a great advocate of working hand-in-hand with other campus communities. For example, he partnered with the Black Students’ Association for a joint lecture on a civil rights Malcom X lecture, and and initiated inter-faith sandwich runs for the homeless.

“...we align our hearts and our actions with the Will of our Creator and thus increase our synergy, strengthen one another… (like) a well aligned strong brick building; each brick, in its proper place, works with the rest of the bricks in maintaining the shape, form and strength of the entire building...” 
Khaled al-Qazzaz (The Muslim Voice, campus publication, August 2003).