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Help My Family in Gaza Find Safety with Loved Ones

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Ask: In order to get 36 members (including 16 children) of my family to safety, I am raising 400,000 CAD, or about 11,100 CAD per person

The ongoing conflict in Gaza profoundly impacts our family, placing our 36 loved ones in peril, including my brother-in-law Nassr who was shot over the American Thanksgiving holiday. This situation underscores the urgent need for our intervention. Therefore, we are reaching out to request your assistance in funding the essential costs of reunifying our family: covering paperwork, medical care, travel, and their initial settlement in Canada. While the Canadian government’s special program for family reunification offers a beacon of hope, it unfortunately does not provide financial support for newcomers in this program, placing the financial burden on us as the Canadian anchors.

My name is Ossama Zaqqout. I am a public health specialist and nurse, and together with my wife Fatma, a nurse specializing in community mental health, we have built a meaningful life in Canada with our four children. Our journey from Gaza is marked by a commitment to humanitarian causes and firsthand experiences of the devastation of conflict, and it has deeply influenced our desire to help those in need. Your support is crucial for the safety of our family and will assist them in building a new life in a country that offers stability and opportunities. We are immensely grateful for any support you can provide. Your contribution represents more than just financial aid; it's a testament to compassion and a direct lifeline for our family during these challenging times.

Personal Appeal
Our families have known displacement too well. We grew up in refugee camps in Khan Younis and Al-Maghazi, enduring hardships that are now haunting our loved ones again. Living in Canada, we're reminded daily of the stark contrast in safety and stability we experience here. The despair of losing contact, the routine dread of losing someone overnight - these fears are our reality. Fatma's loss of 11 family members and the shooting of her brother Nassr during a truce are not just news; they're our personal tragedies.

We've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of safety and stability in Canada. We yearn to offer our family the same sense of security we've found here. We are grateful to the Canadian government for this reunification opportunity, but we need your help to make it a reality. Your support is not just about funds; it's about extending a hand of humanity to those in dire need.

How Donations Will Help
Each donation is a beacon of hope. It will directly fund Nassr’s critical medical needs, provide a temporary safe haven for our family in Egypt, and assist in their resettlement in Canada. With rising living costs, especially housing, your support becomes even more crucial. It's about giving them a foundation to rebuild their lives, to transition from survival to living, and eventually contributing to the community as we have been striving to do. Your support is more than financial; it's a lifeline.

Your donations play a pivotal role beyond immediate financial aid; they serve as tangible proof to the Canadian government that I can fulfill my responsibilities as an anchor for my family, in line with the eligibility requirements of the reunification program. It is imperative for us to demonstrate that our family members will not be reliant on public assistance upon their arrival in Canada. With your support, we can ensure that they have the means to live with dignity, and in time, like my wife and I, become contributing members of the community and active participants in the Canadian economy. Your generosity is not just a gift of funds; it’s an investment in the lives of individuals eager to build a new, productive, and meaningful life in Canada.

While the Canadian government has opened a pathway for family reunification, it does not extend financial support to the newcomers availing this opportunity. This leaves a significant gap in our ability to bring our family to safety and stability. Therefore, we turn to you, our community and compassionate individuals, to help us bridge this financial gap. Your support is crucial in turning this government initiative into a life-changing reality for our loved ones.

We are earnestly seeking your assistance to fund the reunification and subsequent settlement of our family in Canada. Every dollar raised through this campaign will be diligently used to cover a range of essential expenses for our family members. These costs include, but are not limited to:
  • Paperwork (biometrics, issuing passports, application fees, driver licenses, insurance fees, mailing, etc.).
  • Accommodation until visas are granted.
  • Medical treatment for my brother-in-law (Nassr), in addition to psychological support for children.
  • Flights from Egypt to Calgary.
  • Establishment costs in Canada (accommodation, furniture, transportation, weather appropriate clothing, phone lines etc.).
  • If funds permit, pocket money for initial expenses and groceries.
  • English language classes

Our Family
Among our 36 eligible family members, the story of Fatma’s brother, Nassr, stands out starkly. Injured by sniper fire, Nassr's situation symbolizes the dire medical and living conditions in Gaza. Lacking necessary medical supplies, his injuries have worsened, leading to complications that threaten further surgeries, even amputation. This is just one instance of the larger struggle our families face daily: living in tents, struggling for basic needs, and constantly fearing for their lives.

Our family story is a tapestry of lives disrupted. Each one has a story, a dream deferred. Our family's displacement is not just physical; it's a displacement of hope and security. From living under open skies in makeshift tents to facing acute shortages of food, water, and medical care, their resilience is being tested every moment. Our family fled leaving behind most of their clothing and essentials.

Ossama’s Family: My family includes my parents, Abdelfatah and Intisar; four siblings, Ashraf, Ahmed, Mohammed, and Ayman; and their dependents including 8 children.

Fatma’s Family: Her family includes her parents Salah and Inam; her 5 siblings, Ali, Nassr, Mohammed, Khawla, and Imad; and their dependents including 8 children.

Recently, during a brief truce, a heartbreaking incident occurred: my wife’s brother, Nassr, was tragically shot twice by a sniper. This left him with severe injuries in both legs, necessitating surgeries typically performed in Gaza hospitals. However, due to the long-term shortage of medical supplies, anesthesia, and painkillers, the necessary surgery could not be conducted. As a result, Nassr faces grave complications, including an infection in the bone. Without access to essential antibiotics, he is at risk of needing a full amputation. The need for his initial surgery has now escalated to multiple surgeries and potential reconstructive procedures. Tragically, like many in Gaza, Nassr couldn’t be evacuated for medical treatment abroad, as only a small fraction of those injured manage to receive such critical care.



Ossama Zaqqout
Calgary, AB

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