Calgary News | Local Breaking | CTV News Calgary
Calgary woman trying to get out of Gaza
Published Friday, September 26, 2014 5:16PM MDT Last Updated Friday, September 26, 2014 7:09PM MDT
A Calgary woman living in the midst of the turmoil and violence in Gaza wants to come home.
Malak Hammad is a Canadian who married a Palestinian man and they have been living in Gaza for over a year.
She gave birth to her first child in Canada and she was hoping to do the same when her second child was born, but the baby was born two months early in Gaza.
Now that the premature baby is well enough to travel, Hammad and her family would like to leave Gaza and come to Canada but that is proving very difficult.
Ottawa is denying Hammad’s Palestinian husband a visa.
Hammad said in a call with CTV Calgary “all I’m finding is dead ends. It makes me angry and again frustrated.”
Ahmed Hammad submitted all the visa requirements he was able to submit, but he couldn’t provide fingerprints and a photograph because they need to be processed in Cairo, Egypt.
Immigration lawyer Abdul Souraya, who practices in Calgary, said the rules that require Gazans to get fingerprinted in Cairo are unfair.
Souraya said “Gazans cannot travel freely in and out of Gaza.”
Souraya added “it’s sad and it’s tragic because we have a Canadian citizen living in a dangerous region who wants to come back to Canada with her spouse.”
The Canadian government said the decision to require photos and fingerprints from Gazans was made due to ongoing fraud and security concerns.
Malak Hammad’s mother Hana Algergawi said “they want out. They want to get out. It’s just really hard to live there.”
Malak Hammad said “it shouldn’t be this difficult for anyone to travel anywhere especially if you haven’t ever done anything wrong.”
Canada’s Foreign Affairs department has warned Canadians since 2000 that it is not safe to travel to the Gaza Strip.