[Sjsall] History Department Reaches Out

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Dear Friends of SJS,

Please consider providing whatever support you can to this request from John Lutz (History, UVic)

Regards, Margo

As you may know, the History Department and friends have been working to bring the neediest of refugee families to Canada, starting in 2015 when the Syrian crisis really hit headlines. Since then we have had the great privilege of welcoming the Tarrach family from Syria, Tedros’ family from Eritrea, and Alaa and his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew from Sudan. All three families are making a life for themselves and their children in Canada and the Tarrachs are already Canadian citizens.

While our new friends are safe in Canada, unfortunately their families are not, and they are very worried for their safety. So now we are beginning a new phase to bring the most urgent cases of their family members to Canada and we need your help.

We have committed to Alaa and his family to help bring his sister to Canada from her place of exile in Egypt. Like Alaa, she fled Sudan because... of her opposition to the genocidal policies of the Sudanese government in Darfur as well as the ongoing corruption. The same militias responsible for that genocide are now part of the Sudanese government, it is not safe for her to return, and she has been threatened in Cairo for her ongoing work in exile. Moreover, it is very hard for a single woman, refugee, in Cairo, where she has no right to work or government protection. We need to raise $20,000 to bring her here. Her family members in Victoria, saving by working in grocery stores and restaurants have committed a quarter of that already.

We have also committed to the Tarrach family to bring Mohammed’s brother and his family to Canada from their place in exile in Saudi Arabia. This family, two parents and four children now find their ability to stay in Saudi Arabia is under threat. We are needing to raise $40,000 and Mohammed and his family, while doing custodial work at UVic and going to school have been able to save an amazing $5,000 towards that.

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by the headlines and the numbers of people displaced or dying as they flee untenable situations. Sometimes we can feel that as individuals there is little we can do, but there are these three families who have been rescued from some dire circumstances to show that is not true! Safe from so many of the world-wide challenges, we in Canada can dramatically change the lives of others by a simple donation and for our generosity we can get a tax reduction.

If you would like to share our good fortune and make a difference, please send a cheque to ICA of Greater Victoria, 930 Balmoral Rd. Victoria, BC V8T 1A8 and on the Memo line write “Donation CG151-21” if you wish to support Alaa’s sister or “Donation CG153-21” for Mohammed’s brother and family. You can also donate online at https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E335022QE&id=9 in which case chose either CG151-21 or CG153-21 from the dropdown menu. To reach our goal we estimate that we will need two donors who can contribute $5,000, five at $2,000, ten at $1,000, ten at $500 and fifty in donations of $200 or less.

We are not just raising money; we are building community and plan to hold some on-line and, later this summer, in person gatherings to meet the Tarraches and spend some social time with our History and friends community and we hope you will join us for those events.

Thank you so much for your generosity! If you know others who would like to help, please let me know or share this letter.


For History and Friends

John Lutz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Department of History

University of Victoria

PO Box 1700 STN CSC

Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P4


Margo L. Matwychuk, PhD

Director, Social Justice Studies

University of Victoria

Territories of the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSANEC Peoples

PO Box 1700 STN CSC

Victoria BC V8W 2Y2

Office: Cornett B210

PH: (250) 721-6283

FAX: (250) 721-6215

We acknowledge and respect the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples on whose unceded territory the university stands and whose relationships with the land continue to this day.

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