"By including a Palestinian-Canadian perspective, however, your radio segment conveys the extent to which this war has taken a tragic toll on families in Gaza and Canada alike."
Andrew Brown Radio Host, CBC Listen
Dear Mr. Brown,
I am writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East to thank you for your radio segment titled “Jumping through hoops for a visa to leave Gaza,” published on January 16 on CBC Listen.
As the Canadian government’s federal temporary residence program has finally opened its applications, it has been heartbreaking to read about the Palestinian-Canadians fighting for the limited spots to bring family members from Gaza to Canada. Often, Canadian articles and radio shows regarding Israel’s war on Gaza often make the conflict feel distant and obscure. By including a Palestinian-Canadian perspective, however, your radio segment conveys the extent to which this war has taken a tragic toll on families in Gaza and Canada alike. Wesam Nofal gives a personal account of the range of components that makes this application difficult: an application file that requires the most recent version of Adobe to download; confusing instructions and convoluted language; and a charge of $850 for every application submission, followed by another $1,000 for an authorization.
It was especially interesting to hear about her reactions to the questions asked in the application. After acknowledging the importance of security in Canada, Nofal admits that the questions, in and of themselves, perpetuate harmful stereotypes by asking about injuries and scars, and how they’ve been sustained. According to the specialized lawyers she hired to help her with the application process, these types of questions have not been included in previous temporary resident visa applications. Hearing Nofal’s detailed account of her attempts to get family members out of Gaza helps listeners gather that Canada’s attempts to help Palestinian-Canadians is failing, once again.
Thank you, Andrew Brown, for passing the microphone to a Palestinian-Canadian and giving her a platform to tell her story. Please continue to do so.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East