Solidarity with Bissan Eid


    accompanying graphic & all campaign graphics via ZOLA.

After more than 6 months of struggling to depart Gaza, Palestine, Bissan, along with her 7-week-old child, Sarah, are now in transit back to Montréal. At this time, the Eid family and their supporters would like to thank the thousands of individuals and many organizations who supported Bissan and Sarah’s fundamental right to freedom of movement throughout this difficult period.

Next week the Eid family, in collaboration with Tadamon! and the Concordia Student Union (CSU), will be sharing more follow-up information, stay tuned. The struggle against the Israeli military siege on Gaza and to liberate Palestine continues !

Below are a series of solidarity statements / letters written in support of Bissan during the campaign.

* The Simone de Beauvoir Institute calls on the Government of Canada and Hon. Justin Trudeau to #BringBissanHomedownload a PDF version of the letter.

* Statement from Norma Rantisi, Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University — download a PDF version of the letter

* Solidarity letter from the South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC) — download a PDF version of the letter

* Solidarity letter from the Department of Geography, Planning & Environment at Concordia University — download a PDF version of the letter

* Solidarity letter from Independent Jewish Voices — download a PDF version

* Solidarity letter from the Canadian Association of University Teachers – download a PDF version

organizations / groups / collectives endorsing the campaign :

* Amnesty International
* Centre for Gender Advocacy
* Concordia Student Union (CSU)
* Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association
* Graduate Students’ Association (GSA)
* School of Community and Public Affairs
* Simone de Beauvoir Institute
* South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC)

—> support statement by Homa Hoodfar Thursday, June 8th, 2017.

Dear all,

Unfortunately I can’t be with you for this very important rally to bring Bissan Eid and her baby Sarah, home as quickly as possible, but I want to add my voice to yours in support of the campaign to bring her home.

It is not acceptable that a Canadian citizen has been treated the way that Bissan, and now her newly born baby, are being treated.

Like you, I urge the university administration to keep up visibility on the issue, and the Canadian government to make every effort possible to bring Bissan and Sarah home to re-join their family. Like you, I urge the Israeli government as well, to ensure that exit permits are issued and safe passage is ensured for Bissan and Sarah as soon as they are ready to travel.


—> support statement by Sophia Sahrane Thursday, June 8th, 2017.

Although having dual citizenship, Israel and Jordan refuse to recognize Bissan’s Canadian citizenship status, and the Canadian governments efforts to redirect her towards Jordan are problematic as it strategically plays into the discrimination based on place of birth being perpetrated on the Palestinian people.

This is a civil rights issue, this is a civil liberties issue. An individual, no a whole people, have their freedom of movement restricted.

A Canadian citizen, an educator at this very university, a Concordia student, a member of OUR community, and a new mother, Bissan Eid has been left stranded, having to navigate a maze of bureaucracy that has proven itself to be actively and purposefully unreliable, had procedures changes a number of times, and has led to multiple and intersecting harms on Bissan’s life. A 24 year old student, peer, mother, and teacher.

I think we forget that about this situation. I think she has become a headline, a hashtag, or a micro example of deeper political and institutional issues, and yes, Bissan’s situation is a result of such political, institutional, and social issues.

But Bissan is real, she has impacted so many people’s lives. She is so important to her family, friends to her loved ones, her students.

She is real and she is a young mother who has lived the birth of her first born child in the most stressful and traumatizing of circumstances.

She is a 24 year old woman, and I will never say this enough, and is being confronted with the fact that the country in which she has put so much faith in, the one in which she has built a home, a life, has turned its back on her, is refusing to come to her aid, or even to do the strict minimum and recognize her status.

The Canadian government’s failure to take effective actions to secure Bissan’s safe return has caused immense harm to Bissan’s family, her friends, and herself, physically and emotionally, true to any social or political conflict or issue, violence is gendered, and women are at the frontline, receiving the first and harshest waves of repercussions, as they come crashing on and around them.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said something about diversity, that it was one of our biggest strengths, and that it is fundamental and a pillar of Canadian society. it is something that is valued.

But in this case, diversity is being instrumentalized against Bissan.

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government’s passive and cowardly rhetoric is not enough. it will not silence Bissan or our support of her and her daughter Sarah’s return. His thoughts, prayers, and concern are not enough, not when he possesses the resources to ensure Bissan and Sarah’s safe return.

Alan Shepard’s, Concordia University’s President, concerns do not mean ANYTHING if it is followed by inactions, which it has been for the past months. Alan Shepard’s and the university’s ties to the Israeli military and government is no secret, and we need him to use these relationships to ensure the safe return of Bissan and Sarah, not only for financial gain. We need this university and this government to step up, take action, and bring Bissan home.


Sophia Sahrane.

—> support statement by Shahrzad Arshadi June, 2017.

A 24 year old Bissan Eid has been denied leaving Gaza since January of this year because Israeli authorities refuse to give her exit visa!

When I heard about her while ago I thought she is Palestinian who wants to come to Canada as a refuge. Of course we all know how hard it is for refuge to come to this country no matter how much Liberal Government with all their picture opportunities wants to prove otherwise!

But with great disbelief and shame I found-out this young intelligent woman become Canadian citizen since she was 12 years old! She grew up in Montreal, successfully completed her bachelor degree in science and civil engineering from Concordia in 2015, and is also pursuing a masters in civil engineering at the same university.

Learning all about Bissan and on top of all to know she was pregnant and give birth under the harsh situation in Gaza breaks my heart!

Thinking about her make me wonder more and more about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “diversity as Canada’s strength”!

How come Canadian Government and Mr. Trudeau can’t act to solve a simple case as Bissan’s case and bring her home with her beautiful little girl to be with her family?! What happen to the fundamental humanity of all Canadians despite origin or religious background?!

I strongly urge the Liberal government and Mr. Trudeau to take action in Bissan’s case and bring her back home! This is her basic human rights!

Shahrzad Arshadi.

—> support statement by Jordan Arseneault June, 2017.

Imagine being stuck in a country that is not recognized as a country, by a country that doesn’t recognize you as a citizen with freedom of movement, and then you have a baby. The journey home for anyone should never be this hard. The mere fact of needing an exit visa is oppressive bureaucratic violence that now means a Concordia student and her newborn baby are in limbo. Canada must demand approval for Bissan Eid’s swift and safe return, and cease the restriction of movement which is itself a product of colonialist violence. The Eid family is, I’m sure, only one of hundreds of thousands of families to be separated and traumatized by the Israeli occupation of these territories. Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must immediately help #BringBissanHome !

Jordan Arseneault.

—> support statement by Aaron Lakoff June, 2017.

As a Concordia student, and someone who cares deeply both about my fellow students and the people of Palestine, I add my voice to the growing chorus of people demanding that Bissan and her baby be brought back home to Montreal. The Canadian government must do everything in its power to make sure this happens, and the Concordia administration should help them in this process. As we know, the situation in occupied Gaza is precarious and volatile, and subject to change at any moment. It is imperative that Bissan be brought back home immediately to be with her family and her community here in Montreal.

Aaron Lakoff.

—> support statement by Shanice Nicole June, 2017.

I stand in full solidarity with Bissan, her newborn daughter Sarah, and their family who because of oppressive governments and borders, have been unable to return to their home in Canada. Human beings should have the right to travel, to move, to be free. I demand that the government use its power to fight for Bissan and her daughter Sarah so that they can return to Canada safely and with dignity and start to heal from the trauma that they have endured in attempts to regain their rightful freedom.

Shanice Nicole.

—> support statement by Yassin “Narcy” AlSalman June, 2017.

Bissan and Sarah’s case should be treated as a human issue. Everyone who is holding up the free movement of these two Canadian citizens needs to recognize the humanity in this story of social injustice. As a father, as an Iraqi and as a Canadian, it’s my duty to urge our government to to take swift action to support Bissan Eid. Neither Bissan or her daughter should be held against their will anywhere in the world. Peace.


—> support statement by Freda Guttman June, 2017.

While thankfully, Bissan’s baby was successfully delivered in Gaza, it happened far away from her immediate family and from the medical facilities that she should have been able to access in Montreal, and where she had wanted to give birth. This was because the Canadian government delayed in taking action in time for Bissan to travel safely while pregnant. I call on our government to now, without further delay, pressure the Israeli government to allow Bissan and her child to come home safely to her family.

Freda Guttman.

—> support statement by Safa Chebbi June, 2017.

On a tendance à s’indigner plus fort pour la libre circulation des marchandises, des informations et des capitaux mais beaucoup moins pour des êtres humains qui risquent leurs vies ! Bissan a le droit de circuler librement et vivre sa maternité dans la dignité. Elle est aussi une citoyenne canadienne et le gouvernement devrait assumer sa part de responsabilité rapidement !

Safa Chebbi.

—> support statement by Hubert Gendron-Blais June, 2017.

‘The frontiers are my prison’ once wrote a largely celebrated Canadian songwriter. A statement that the Canadian government should keep in mind, especially in the case of Bissan Eid. If we couldn’t be surprised by the attitude of the government on the preservation of its own frontiers, we could nevertheless expect that it actively supports its citizens when they are experiencing difficulties with such issues overseas. Stop sparing your apartheid ally, and bring Bissan and Sarah home.

Hubert Gendron-Blais.

—> support statement by Tarek Loubani & John Greyson June, 2017.

Tarek Loubani & filmmaker / professor John Greyson : « As two Canadians who were locked up without charges in Egypt, we know what it’s like to be ‘indefinitely detained,’ and we’re shocked that the Canadian government isn’t doing more to bring Bissan and her baby home. It’s outrageous that both Israel and Jordan deny Bissan and Sarah safe passage back to their family in Montreal — and Canada must forcefully intervene on their behalf.

Tarek Loubani & John Greyson.

—> support statement by Anique Vered June, 2017.

Dear Concordia administration,

I am an Australian artist-researcher and development practitioner that has been living in Montreal since 2014. Most of this time has been as a visiting researcher at Concordia and I am now due to start a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development also at Concordia this coming Fall.

I am writing to express my serious concern for the wellbeing of Bissan Eid, and now her daughter Sarah, who despite being a Canadian citizen is being refused exit papers from Gaza in the occupied territories. I am a Jew, a descendant of Holocaust survivors as well as those who lost their lives, with immediate family in Israel, and I also sit on the Board of a Jewish community here in Montreal. The Canadian Jewish community is diverse and includes various ethical standpoints – I believe in its capacity to foreground human rights and collaborative leadership when it comes to issues relating to Israel/Palestine. As a member of that community I urge you to please look beyond the political power of the Israeli government and act from the basic human rights standpoint that Canada must uphold. As a Canadian, Bissan, and her daughter Sarah, deserve the support of this country in order to assure their safety.

I ask you to please to take action as an established organization, in bringing Bissan and Sarah to the Canadian government’s attention as a priority. More specifically, I ask that you request the government demand the processing of Bissan and Sarah’s exit papers, as well as expedite Sarah’s Canadian citizenship papers as soon as possible. It is Canada’s responsibility to ensure the safety of a Canadian citizen and her child.

Anique Vered.


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