Desperate Palestinian Refugee Mom to Plead with Trudeau TODAY: Let Me Bring My Children From Gaza to Ottawa!Written by Change.org Petition
Ottawa – On Monday, June 7 at 11 am, Palestinian refugee Jihan Qunoo will visit the Prime Minister’s Office at 80 Wellington Street (East entrance) to request an urgent meeting with Justin Trudeau as part of her fight to bring her three traumatized girls and husband to Ottawa from war-ravaged Gaza.
If she is unable to secure permits for the family to reunite by June 9 at 12 noon, she says she will be forced to travel back to the Middle East to try and rescue them on her own.
Qunoo, who took to national media in May to share disturbing images of her girls screaming and running from the bombing of Gaza while they were on a video chat with their mother, will present a petition with the signatures of over 24,000 people supporting her plea. Qunoo is seeking the immediate issuance of Early Entrance Temporary Resident Permits (TRP) to allow her family to be reunited during the processing of their permanent residency applications, which the latest figures show could take up to 39 months.
“My children have been without me for two years already, and they might not see me for another three years,” Qunoo explains. “This is cruel and so painful. There is no reason for them and my husband not to be here with me while we await the processing. Their lives right now in Gaza are hell. They barely survived the latest war, and the damage to everything means their lives are one big trauma.”
Qunoo’s application for the TRPs has been sitting unacknowledged on the desk of Immigration Marco Mendicino for almost two weeks. The Minister has the legislated power to immediately issue those permits on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
In a video message to Mendicino and Trudeau, Qunoo explains: “Having to experience first-hand what my kids went through in recent conflict in Gaza, prior to the cease fire, has played havoc with my emotions. The fear of losing them forever or never having to hold them, hug them, hear their laughter or experience sibling bickering has created a sense of terror and extreme insecurity. I am from Gaza, have lived through tough times and this constant fear of not knowing what the future will hold is not new to me but nothing, and I say it again, that NOTHING compares to the terror that I now feel for not seeing my daughters again – I was not with them when the air strikes blew UP the building right next to my kids’ home with 12 people dead leaving 1 infant as a survivor. I was not with them when they were running around in fear and didn’t know where to hide, and I was not with them when they cling to each other and kept screaming during the night for me to help them!”
Qunoo is working with the Rural Refugee Rights Network, whose coordinator, Matthew Behrens, notes: “The trauma that families like Jihan’s go through from separation is incalculable. That trauma is compounded when you consider the horrific conditions in Gaza leading up to and after the most recent war.
“TRPs are exactly meant for the compelling and extraordinary circumstances faced by her family. We have seen TRPs issued in conditions far less extreme than those facing Jihan’s family. In fact, a 13-year-old boy from Surrey, BC, who wanted to play in the Little League World series in 2018 was granted one. A feminist government that grants a TRP so a boy can play ball can surely extend that same spirit of humanitarian consideration immediately to a family whose three girls are afraid to go to sleep at night because they justifiably fear that darkness will bring them missiles and death.”
Watch Jihan Qunoo plea to be reunited with her children on YouTube below (It may take a few minutes to load)