Category Archives: Arab community

CALGARY: Fariborz Birjandian, head of Calgary Catholic Immigration society, thinks Canada should take in more Syrian refugees

October 10, 2014 7:20 pm

Refugee families now call Calgary home thanks to local help

By  and   Global News

It’s been a year since Fadi Yacoub and his family fled from war-torn Syria to Lebanon.

Once in Lebanon they applied for refugee status, and a year later Calgary is their home.

Yacoub says the year-long wait was well worth it.

“I’m happy that I’m here,” he says. “I want a good future for my kids; it’s been four years that they didn’t go to school. “

There are currently more than three million Syrian refugees in the world, a number that climbs daily.

Yacoub’s wife, Ralda, knows how lucky her family is.

Canada, I heard from a lot of people that it’s a safe place, “says Ralda. “Thank god now that I’m here, I feel like my life is back again.”

While the family is grateful, the transition from Syria to Canada has had its challenges. Their daughter Perla is still adjusting to life in Calgary. Continue reading

ETOBICOKE: Zaid Yousif killed in targeted shooting, police said

Victim’s mother says he went to watch fight, ended up being shot and killed

CBC News Posted: Oct 07, 2014 2:37 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 07, 2014 7:02 PM ET

Things were looking good for Zaid Yousif.

He had just turned 17 last Friday and been given a BMW to drive. That followed a recent trip to Europe to visit family.

Yousif was in his last year of high school and holding down a part-time job at Canadian Tire, saving up money for the future.

“Zaid was on the road to success,” his friend Munir Andreyos said in an interview with CBC News on Tuesday.

But days after his birthday, Yousif, a student at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, was dead. The teenager was one of two high-school students shot dead in northwest Toronto in a shocking double homicide on Monday.

Ziad YousifZaid Yousif, 17, was shot dead in northwest Toronto on Monday afternoon. (Yousif family)

Toronto police said the shooting that killed Yousif and a student from James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School was targeted.

But Yousif’s mother, Jina Samouie, told CBC News on Tuesday that police had told her Yousif had gone to watch a fight and attempted to flee when guns came out.

“They said in the newspaper … they killed him, like, not by accident, but this is not right,” she said.

Andreyos said that Yousif wasn’t someone who went looking for a fight.

“He wasn’t a bully, he was nothing like that,” he said. Continue reading

ETOBICOKE: Zaid Yousif and Michael Menjivar killed in fatal shooting

Zaid Yousif, 17, and Michael Menjivar, 15, shot and killed

CBC News Posted: Oct 07, 2014 8:06 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 07, 2014 4:08 PM ET

The two young males who died in a shooting near a school in northwest Toronto yesterday afternoon were high school students, a school board official confirmed today.

Friends and family have identified the slain Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School student as Zaid Yousif, 17. Friends of the second victim identified him as Michael Menjivar, 15, a student at James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School.

The shooting Monday happened behind an apartment building near two schools, in the area of Dixon Road and Islington Avenue, just after 12:30 p.m. ET. Both schools were put into either lockdown, or hold and secure mode. Continue reading

HALIFAX: Shia-Muslim family claims will be persecuted if deported to Iran

Halifax family could be deported to country they’ve never visited

Federal Court of Canada hears unusual refugee case

By Richard Cuthbertson, CBC News Posted: Sep 10, 2014 5:28 PM AT Last Updated: Sep 10, 2014 5:28 PM AT

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-family-could-be-deported-to-country-they-ve-never-visited-1.2762152

A family living in Halifax is fighting to stay in Canada as refugees. They say they fear they will be deported to Iran, a country they’ve never visited. (CBC)

A family living in Halifax is facing deportation after their refugee claim was rejected earlier this year — but in an unusual twist, they could be sent to a country they’ve never even visited.

Abbas Gholami, his wife Fatemeh Naserian Mochadam, and their five children arrived in Canada a couple of years ago. All family members were born and lived in Kuwait. However, due to family ties they are citizens of Iran.

They say they left Kuwait after years of threatening phone calls from two of Mochadam’s cousins, according to documents filed in the Federal Court of Canada. Mochadam is of Arab descent and says her 1995 marriage to her husband, who is Persian, was viewed as shameful by some relatives who threatened to kill them.

But in February, an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada tribunal rejected the family’s refugee claim. The Gholamis now face removal from Canada — not to Kuwait, but to Iran, where none of them have lived or visited.

The family is fighting the tribunal’s decision. At a Federal Court hearing in Halifax on Wednesday, the Gholamis’ lawyer argued the family could face persecution if they are sent to Iran.

Scott McGirr says the family identifies as Arab and can’t even speak Farsi, the language of Iran. Arabs, he argues, are discriminated against in Iran.

“Arabs in Iran run a very real risk of persecution,” McGirr told the court.

A federal government lawyer acknowledged this is a “bit of an unusual case,” but argued Wednesday the court should uphold the tribunal’s finding that the Gholamis aren’t refugees.

Government lawyer Patricia MacPhee questioned the veracity of claims by the Gholamis that they faced years of harassment from Mochadam’s cousins. She says the tribunal did not believe the threatening phone calls would have lasted nearly two decades.

She notes that while the family may consider itself Arab, they are also Shia Muslims, the dominant religion in Iran. There is no evidence, MacPhee says, the family would face persecution.

(…)

Canadians travelling with Egyptian passports need a valid visa when returning to Canada

Dual citizens carrying foreign passport turned away at Florida airport Air Canada’s refusal to let a Milton family fly home from a summer vacation offers a cautionary tale.

By:  Immigration reporter, Published on Mon Aug 04 2014
Warning to dual citizens: Travelling with a foreign passport may make it tough to come home to Canada.
What happened to a Milton family returning from a summer holiday in Florida on Air Canada offers a cautionary tale for Canadians who use a foreign passport when travelling outside the country.
Canadian citizens Wael Ghali, his wife, Mira Wassef, and their teenage boys, Michael and Youssef, were stuck in the Tampa airport after an Air Canada agent refused to let them board their flight because she didn’t accept their Egyptian passports and photo citizenship certificates as valid documents to re-enter Canada. Continue reading

Canadian leftist organization’s demonstration features speaker pushing ‘worldwide third intifada.’

Canadian leftist organization’s demonstration features speaker pushing ‘worldwide third intifada.’ 

Support for ‘Third Intifada’ Headlines Protest
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183630#.U91TrVaBuDU
Canadian leftist organization’s demonstration features speaker pushing ‘worldwide third intifada.’

By Dalit Halevi
First Publish: 8/2/2014, 10:35 PM

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shout anti-Israeli slogansReuters
Pro-Palestinian organizations, in cooperation with radical leftist organizations – including some Jewish groups - continue organizing anti-Israeli demonstrations across Canada.

On July 30, the “Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid” (CAIA) held a demonstration in Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, which attended by hundreds of local residents who were carrying placards denouncing Israel and support the Palestinian people, according to Shalom Toronto.  Continue reading

OTTAWA: Gaza demonstration blocks main roads forcing communters to use alternate routes

A protest against Israeli action in the Middle East is happening Saturday afternoon in Ottawa, and police say motorists should expect road closures in the downtown core and ByWard Market.

The demonstration began around 1 p.m. at the Human Rights Monument near the intersection of Elgin and Lisgar streets.

Police say it will then move through the ByWard Market before ending on Parliament Hill.

Demonstrators say this is their route:

  • North on Elgin Street  to Rideau Street;
  • East on Rideau Street to Sussex Drive;
  • North on Sussex Drive to George Street;
  • East on George Street to Dalhousie Street;
  • North on Dalhousie Street to Murray Street;
  • West on Murray Street to Mackenzie Avenue;
  • South on MacKenzie Avenue to where Rideau Street becomes Wellington Street;
  • West on Wellington Street to Parliament Hill.

On mobile? Click here to see a map of the planned demonstration route.

Organizers say the demonstration should end around 3 p.m.

Police are asking commuters to avoid the area or use alternate routes if possible.

HALIFAX: First gay-friendly mosque ready to open its doors

Halifax’s first gay-friendly mosque opening this summer

Halifax Unity Mosque sharing space with Universal Unitarian Church

CBC News Posted: Jul 25, 2014 3:51 PM AT Last Updated: Jul 25, 2014 3:58 PM AT

Nova Scotia’s first gay-friendly mosque is set to open in the next few weeks.

The Halifax Unity Mosque is an expansion of the Toronto Unity Mosque, also called el-Tawhid Juma Circle.

The mosque is a “gender-equal, LGBTI/queer-affirming” place for Muslims to worship, according to its Facebook page.

‘Queer Muslims are having to reclaim space that they may have had in the past.’- Syed Adnan Hussein

Syed Adnan Hussein has been building support for the Halifax Unity Mosque for a while. He found a space this week and hopes to start worship by next month.   Continue reading

An immigration database