mom hastagCanada is known as a tolerant country that embraces people from all cultural backgrounds. On July 1st, everyone celebrates Canada Day as a form of gratefulness and pride to belong to this nation.

On occasions like this, we should not forget that Canada is home to millions of people of varying races, religions, and social classes. Some have ties to the country since its inception, while others have recently come to make this wonderful country their home to have a better life. I love Canada. I love that I can express my opinions freely without worrying about being arrested, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel that this once open country has adopted a fearful idea of anyone visiting from certain countries and overstaying their welcome.

I am an Egyptian citizen who has been living in Canada for almost five years. I obtained my M.A. from the University of British Columbia, and am currently working and living in Vancouver. Two years ago, I started dating a Canadian man, and we fell in love. On August 1st, 2015, we are getting married, and I applied for a visa to have my mother (my only living parent), visit me to attend the wedding. I was completely shocked to find out that the CIC’s office in Cairo rejected my mother’s visa. The reasons given were that her ties in Canada are stronger than the ones in Egypt, and that she lacked sufficient funds to cover her short stay. This marks her third time being rejected to visit Canada. I am an only child and my father passed away when I was young. My mother decided to not remarry or work so that she could dedicate all her time to bringing me up and giving me all the care and love to compensate for the loss of my father.

My mother visited me in Vancouver in 2010 when I was depressed, suicidal, and admitted to hospital. I was told I wouldn’t be released until a family member would come to Canada to stay with me and ensure I wouldn’t be left alone. Doctors gave me 2-3 minutes to make an international call to tell my mother all of that. I was reluctant to do so, as I didn’t want to give her a heart attack by saying her only daughter could have died, and then hang up. A few days later, she was granted a visitor’s visa, and was allowed to stay in Canada for up to six months. In fact, despite loving and missing me, she left a full month earlier because she didn’t like the cold weather and couldn’t be away from Egypt for such a long time. She considers Egypt her home, and is more comfortable there; she has no interest in immigrating to Canada.

I keep asking myself, why should a mother be forced to come when her child’s life is at stake, but blocked when they have a reason to celebrate together? Why should a woman be punished for neither working, nor remarrying, by being barred from even visiting her only child in Canada? Why is there discrimination against specific nationalities when it comes to simple family visits? Why must I walk down the aisle alone just because of border politics? All I’m asking is for her to attend my wedding, which is a basic human right. I don’t need my mother to visit Canada for long term, just for the most important day of my life.

I only have 30 days left until my wedding. This means that my options are very limited in appealing to the government to change their mind and allow my mom to visit me. All I’m asking is that if you can understand how important it is to have your only living parent come to your wedding to please share the hashtag #bringmymomtomywedding with everyone on social media. This day means so much to me, and I would love to spend it with my husband and my mother, and not have her miss out on this joyous occasion.

I would like to thank you in advance for any and all help you could offer me. I can be contacted via Facebook (Doaa Magdy), Twitter (@doaamzahabm) or by email at doaazahab@gmail.com.

Happy Canada Day,


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61 Responses to #bringmymomtomywedding

  1. Sonya D'Cunha says:

    Please let this girl be able to celebrate her wonderful occassion with her mother. This is a very important day for her and her new husband!

    • Sakura says:


      Have you contacted you local MP, I hope you have. If not do this straight away I am sure they will do all they can to help you.
      Congratulations on your up commng wedding!

      • Jane says:

        What is the nationality of the person who is making this decision, I happen to think they are not white.

        • AJ says:

          Jane… being white has nothing to do with nationality. Anyone can be of any race and have any nationality, they do not go hand-in-hand. That being said, the nationality of the “person” who made the decision was most likely Egyptian.. due to the fact that they work for the Egyptian government. However this wouldn’t be one person’s individual decision.

          Good luck Doaa!

      • doaa says:

        Thank you, Sakura. Yes, local MP Libby Davies will write a support letter for my mother for when we re-apply 🙂

    • doaa says:

      Thank you, Sonya

  2. Brenda Miller says:

    Hey, Doaa,

    I also agree with the supporter who suggested that, in addition to this petition, you try connecting with your local MP to engage hi or her help in lobbying the government regarding the visa application for your Mom. In addition, I also fully understand the importance of having your Mom present to walk you down the aisle. When I got married in 2001, it was my Mom (who was also my best friend), who walked me down the aisle and “gave me away” to my husband, the love of my life and a gift from God to me. My Dad had passed away in January of that year, so I was extremely grateful to have my Mom present and healthy to be able to share the joy of the most important day of my life, second only to the day I received Jesus Christ into my life as my LORD and Saviour.

    Doaa, I will be signing your petition, and I pray that the LORD will open a door so that provision can be made in time for your Mom to share the blessing of your wedding day. Should that not happen, I pray you are able to focus on the joy of uniting as one with the man you love and are marrying, and not allow anything to interfere with the blessings of your wedding day. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, Doaa!

    P.S. I do not believe that it is the intent of the government to be cruel, and I know there is a heightened sense of wariness because of all the terrorist activity around the world, and, unfortunately for you and your Mom, the activities of radical Muslims has led to hardships for many who are innocent and not supportive of such violence, simply because of their faith or homeland. It is my prayer that the government will be willing to re-examine your application, and continue to look at cases on the basis of individual merit, and not paint everyone with the same discriminatory brush.

    • Peter says:

      The immigration department does not re-exterminate any visa applications. They will tell you to re-apply, which will be bound to fail again, since they keep records of applications. Even if another visa officer looks at the case, visa officers do not go against each other (same like police officers) .
      My wife was denied visitor visas at 5 occasions due to the fact that she has FAMILY TIES in Canada, what a joke that is. Yes, I am her husband and of course she has family ties in Canada. On 2 other occasions she was denied permanent residency. This time they figured that my wife is a fake wife and only married me to get access to the Canadian benefits such as health care etc.
      Nothing can be further from the truth.
      First of all she as a much better life in China than she would ever has here. She owns 5 condos in Shenzhen and her net value is above 3 million dollars. I am myself permanent resident in Canada and have a German passport. If she or me would be interested in the benefits in Canada, i rather would move us to Germany. The health care system is way better and faster there, the social benefit beat the Canadian ones by 10:1 and in fact to be employee over there has a lot more benefits than here in Canada. So here I am stranded in Canada without my wife. I am married since 5 years and know her since about 7 years. I guess Canada immigration was wrong.
      And a Muslim terrorist she is not either. She is Buddhist and a very peaceful person that cares very much about others. The Canada immigration act is
      a very well written piece of law , but it appears that its application is in the hand of a few immigration officers that have some strange agenda.
      To fight their assessment is almost impossible. Yes there is an Immigration review board and early resolution, but the statistics speaks for itself.
      Families are separated, Fathers and mothers deported leaving the children behind with one spouse. Spouses that cant be together .. that is modern Canada Immigration.
      The welcome that you get from the border officers when coming from abroad reminds me at the borders in Russia during the cold war.
      This country is not an immigration country anymore, it is the heaven for corrupted government officials that tunneled enough cash from their countries to Canada. Those do not have a problem to enter Canada, nor do drug dealers and other criminals.

      • doaa says:

        There is always hope, Peter

      • Gail Rao says:

        I am a Canadian citizen who married Feb 2011 an Indian citizen. Canada Immigration is harsh and cruel to Families. We were deemed “not geniune” The whole process was quite bizarre and corrupt. I now live in Mumbai India and have a good life here.
        My grown kids and my grandchildren have never met my husband. We want to come visit this year. Citizenship for my husband does not work well for us to settle here now. Canada winters are no thrill either.
        October brings in an election and we need changes! Good luck Dora and all victims of Immigration Canada. Perhaps a class action lawsuit might help to change things. This is a huge violation of civil and human rights and targeted at families. A country without strong family values is worth nothing!

    • doaa says:

      Thank you so much, Brenda for your sweet words and prayers. Love always wins.
      Yes, my local MP Libby Davies will write a support letter for my mother for when we re-apply.

  3. Dinah says:

    You need to write directly to your MP, Minister of Immigration and to the Canadian Embassy in Egypt. Buy your Mom’s health insurance, round trip plane ticket, and promise in writing to cover all her expenses while in Canada. Petition would take longer, and no one knows if it will ever reach the officials on time.
    Good luck!

  4. Loren Taylor says:

    I am sorry that our government is acting out of fear rather then compassion. I feel your pain as when my nephew in law passed his own children were kept from his funeral by a government agency not even letting them say goodbye

    To my government: please let this woman have her special time with her mother. With regards to finances, I am sure her daughter and future husband are in a position to take care of her financial needs while she is here for the short while. Give the woman a week or a weekend. Give her something. Don’t make your decision out of fear but Trust our Heavenly Father to look out for your people if that is your concern.

  5. Marco says:

    Who would go through this entire thing and bring up extremely personal stories just to drum up an excuse for why one’s mother can’t come to the wedding?

    Terrible job trying to turn this into a conspiracy theory, by the way.

  6. M. Penner says:

    Why can’t Dona’s mother come? She was allowed to come when her daughter needed her before. She needs her now. If she did not want her to come, she would not be petitioning. She would have said, “Sorry, Mom.” and let it go.

    And why shouldn’t Dona marry in Canada? Her fiance is a Canadian. Their friends are in Canada. How could the friends – university students – attend a wedding halfway around the globe? Her mom is one person, dear to her, and financially able to come. The legal stuff of marriage must be dealt with in Canada too.

    Dona should not have a problem, but our government seems to set up more barriers to bar people from countries having unrest.

  7. Jane says:

    If I am 16th generatin canadian and I had to leave my birth city 7 times to secure work for myself and now I am in ottawa being denied disability, being denied a bus pass each month, being denied employment because I am white and english, what rights do you think your have over me? I am not allowed to apply for a government job in my own country that my ancestors built we came in 1635.

    • Saak says:

      You couldn’t be more wrong about Muslims and their so called agenda! Islam is about peace, living in harmony with others and respecting the laws of the country of residence. There are few misguided people who become a threat to the country, but overall,
      Muslims are not out to conquer their place of residence! They try to bring others to the right path through Dawah, not violence. Christian Missionaries have been doing this for centuries! We love Canada!!! Also, your knowledge of Islam is greatly lacking and verses from the Quran cannot be taken out of context and quoted, as any scholar will tell you!

    • doaa says:

      Jane,if you have issues with your government, you can directly contact them. You also have to ask yourself why are you denied all of that?

    • doaa says:

      Sorry to hear you have this idea about Islam or any other religion. This is not the right place to talk about that. Spread the love. That’s all we need.

    • Lucy says:


      What do your problems have to do with Doaa’s? There are plenty of assistance programs for people who are white and English. In fact most assistance in Canada would cater to white and English. There may be specialized programs to help marginalized groups, but they are to make up for how hard it can be for these groups to access regular programs.

      Instead of attacking Doaa for your issues with the government maybe you could commiserate that many government programs are poorly run. Neither you (I hope!) nor she are trying to abuse the system and yet you are being punished.

  8. Mary says:

    I will sign the petition, I do question how a simple petition can change CIC’S mind.
    I sponsored my husband and he answered all questions in his interview and still visa officer refused. Our proof all good but she called me old. Is that allowed? I told our story at mps office, and may I add, hes also the Speaker of the House, to no avail. My legal right is to appeal. Could be a year or two of a wait for a hearing. I have visited him 5 times, longest visit 6 months. And of course he needs a visa to visit so I go there. Every two and a half to three months I travel. Our lives on hold. Our love is bigger than this country. We will prevail.
    Good luck, seems like time is running out.

    • doaa says:

      Thank you ,Mary. We can’t control everything in life but at least we have to work hard against social injustices. Hopefully, all works out for all of us.

  9. sally says:

    Living abroad and away from family always comes with some price tag and unable to secure the visitor visa for your family can be one of them. I have studied and worked in 4 countries outside of my motherland over last 13 years. So I understand the pain you are feeling but petitioning government won’t help. If they grant your mother a visa based on your petition, they will end up having petition for every single rejection they do – right or wrong. I know the wedding is a huge thing but think of alternative ways to be with your mother– for an example have a second ceremony in Egypt. There are always ways. All the best.

  10. Roni Fynn says:

    People like you always remain “anonymous”. One of the main reason I like the Internet because it brings out the true demon in human beings. I rather reality than deception.

  11. DaniT says:

    the same thing happnened to my wife with our first baby, I have one advice for you, contact your local MP, they WILL help you. It is good that you started this petition, but also contact your MP.
    Good Luck and Congrats!!

    • doaa says:

      Thank you, Dani. Yes, my local MP Libby Davies will write a support letter for my mother for when we re-apply

  12. Roni Fynn says:

    We are free human beings and should be allowed to make choices – see section 7 of YOUR Canada Charters of Rights and Freedom! It cause absolutely nothing to be empathetic.

  13. Stephanie says:

    You probably did, but just in case – when you applied for the visa, did you include the *return* plane tickets as proof that your mom is returning to Egypt? My then-fiancé’s first application for a visa to come to Canada (from Panama) for our wedding was rejected because of this (but they didn’t tell him that, we figured it out on our own). Good luck, and all the best to you, your family, and your fiancé!

  14. Pamela Morgan says:

    If what you say is true, I don’t see how your Mother could possibly be refused entry. I hope she will make it. Wishing you the very best…..

  15. Ann says:

    I was going to sign your petition until you said that you felt you were being discriminated against. In my opinion this is a fault with the system and whoever is reviewing your application not a fault with race or heritage. I do not understand some of the decisions that government officials make. That is why we get involved. This happens to all people. Good luck with your appeal.

  16. George says:

    Why do you not apply directly to the Canadian Immigration authority ?

  17. David Garon says:

    In my experience, Immigration Control Officers usually have good reason for their decisions. You should respect our Government’s decision, and consider holding your wedding in Egypt.

  18. Lula says:

    I’ve heard of people posting a bond to cover their visitor’s expenses and departure – you pay it and forfeit it if the visitor doesn’t leave.

    You need a lawyer fast. I used to work in this area and suggest you find someone who does both immigraion and refugee work – if they do just immigration they may be focused on the ‘bring-capitalists-and-their-money-to-Canada” class. Doing refugee work is usually hard and badly paid, so the people doing it … have a heart. I’d try this person.

  19. Shirley says:

    Why can’t we share this to get more signatures

  20. Dawne says:

    I am very sorry to hear about this situation. I am even more sorry to say there is nothing you can really do about it. No MP will help you get a visitors visa.
    I went through something similar with my husband from Guinee, Conakry. We married in Ghana, where we live and after our first child was born we wanted to travel to Canada for him to meet my family and for my husband to meets my friends and family who didn’t travel to Ghana for the wedding.
    He was denied, they were not convinced he had strong enough ties to his country of residence nor did he convince them he would return home.
    When I came through immigration traveling with my son alone, they asked for a letter from the father and the officer asked why he didn’t come with us. I told her because he was denied a visa. She asked if we were married and was shocked when I said yes. She told me to contact my local MP.
    I did do that. What he said to me I will never forget. He told to “stop wasting my money applying for visas as he wouldn’t likely get a visa especially considering where he is from. So stop trying. If you need help with permanent residence visa I can help with that.”
    I was so angry.
    Guess what… it did me know good. We didn’t return to Canada the following year and instead got a schengen visa for Germany. Then he applied to Canada again, 2 years later, and finally got one.

    I am surprised your Mom was refused after having been issues a visa already. That is not something I have heard of. My husband now has a 5 year visa which he got when he applied after the first one.

    There will really be very little that can be done at this point with only 30 days left. So I would recommend postponing the wedding or move it to Egypt.

  21. Caroline says:

    To anonymous: what a foul, self-centered and paranoid assumption. If she didn’t want her mother to come, why would she go through all this trouble to enable her mother to come? She obviously cares very much and is deeply affected by this issue.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Doaa, you and your Canadian fiance really should contact the constituency office of the Member of Parliament for the federal riding in which you live. Sometimes the constituency assistants can help you assemble the right evidence, provide a letter supporting it, and get the documents quickly to the agency concerned. Best of luck

  23. just the truth says:

    Did it ever occur to you that there might be reasons such as most of her family and friends are either here in Canada or have had no problem coming to Canada for the wedding? If the majority of your guests are in Canada already, why would you insist that everyone go elsewhere for the wedding?

  24. just the truth says:

    My previous comment was a reply to Anonymous, as to why you didn’t think ‘of her first before you decided to do your wedding in Canada’.

  25. doaa says:

    There is a reason you are anonymous

  26. McDok says:

    A last ditch alternative might be to get married in Egypt. Mom can attend, you two can certainly travel there…. it might be the best solution available.

  27. Gail says:

    Totally incorrect David. Our embassies out of country are staffed by citizens of that country. The “good reason” is often the failure of the applicant to pay the err hum “special handling fee” to the agent………

  28. Amr says:

    I hope the Canadian government change its mind and let your mother attend your wedding.


  29. Sally says:

    …”Why should my mom be punished for being a single woman who chose not to work.”

    This doesn’t raise any flags for anyone else?

  30. Shane Copeland says:

    I believe your mother should be given a 48 to 72 hour visitors permit or passport so she can attend your wedding! I have a sister in law who has been trying to get her mother to come to Canada for the past8 years now. Reason being for her rejection has nothing to do with race or ethnic origin> The problem is she has severe health problems and if something should happen to her while visiting the government or tax payer is on the hook for the health bill. I understand this situation however anyone who is here now whether on a temporary work visa or not a Canadian citizen should not be denied any form of health care as they are here now and it is a moral responsibility for us to care for them! In your mother’s case so long as she has no serious health problems or criminal record I see no reason to keep her from coming! I have heard and this is not confirmed info that some people come and then get a lawyer and fight the legal system to be sent back and it takes time and effort and money to remove them . This may or may not be the case the Gov’t does not want to budge on this one! Again I truly hope she can come for 2 or 3 days!

  31. Anne says:

    I was going to sign your petition until I hit the part where you identify yourself as an “Egyptian citizen” Have you even applied for Permanent Resident Status? Why do you STILL continue to identify yourself as an “Egyptian citizen”. THAT for me is a warning flag if you don’t consider yourself Canadian after living here for 5 years and being engaged to a Canadian.

    The simple solution is to hold your wedding in Egypt where your mother is in her comfort zone.

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