POLITICS

Adam Aboushady, Baby Who Had Been Stranded In Egypt, Reunited With Family

03/16/2015 09:28 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT
CP

An Egyptian family living in Canada as permanent residents was reunited with their baby on Monday after the infant who had been stranded in Egypt due to government red tape finally arrived in Toronto.

The CBC News program Go Public first broke Aboushady family's story, who were separated from their baby after Citizenship and Immigration Canada rejected the baby’s visitor visa.

Adam Aboushady, now a one-year-old boy, arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport this morning. His sisters, Lara, 4, and Judy, 5, waited in the arrivals area with a handmade sign and an inflatable SpongeBob Squarepants toy.

"I couldn't believe it when it could see them with my own eyes," Ahmed Aboushady, Adam's father, told CBC News Network on Monday morning.

"Adam's reaction ... he was very happy, he recognized me," he said, adding that was a concern of his, given that he'd missed so much of his child's life so far.

Adam's mother, Samah, went to Egypt to pick up the baby once government clearance was given. She said she's looking forward to spending time together as a family.

Adam's sisters have already excitedly begun planning activities for their younger brother, she added.

The CBC News program Go Public first broke Aboushady family's story, who were separated from their baby after Citizenship and Immigration Canada rejected the baby’s visitor visa.

The Aboushady family fled the tense situation in Egypt for the U.K. the year before the 2011 revolution. In 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada accepted their application for permanent residency.

The family landed in Canada to make it official in March 2013, but then temporarily returned to the U.K. to finish the school year and prepare to permanently move to Canada. There, pregnancy complications made travel impossible, and Adam was born in the U.K. as neither Canadian nor British, but Egyptian.

Visa denied by immigration officials

An immigration firm advised the Aboushady's to apply for a visitor's visa with a "dual intent" — to bring Adam to Canada, then sponsor him to become a permanent resident while in the country.

Last summer, however, Citizenship and Immigration rejected the visa request.

Ahmed and Samah Aboushady were forced to leave Adam temporarily with his grandparents in Egypt, because if they left Canada to care for the newborn they would themselves lose the permanent resident status granted to them and their daughters.

After CBC published their story, immigration officials approved the Aboushady family as sponsors and allowed Adam's passage to Canada.

Ahmed Aboushady thanked the Go Public team for telling their story. He said that while the ordeal was difficult, he's glad it's come to a happy conclusion.

"It's worth what we have stood up for. It's worth it."

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