March 15 episode: Re­claim­ing Queer Arab Sto­ries & Gaps in Cana­dian Refugee and Im­mi­gra­tion Law

The McGill Daily - - Contents -

Con­tent warn­ing: dis­cus­sion of Is­lam­o­pho­bia, Ho­mo­pho­bia

The first seg­ment of this episode fea­tures an in­ter­view with Saleem Had­dad, the au­thor of Guapa, a po­lit­i­cal and per­sonal com­ing of age story of a young gay man liv­ing through the Arab rev­o­lu­tions in 2011. The novel, pub­lished in 2016, was awarded Stonewall Honour and re­ceived crit­i­cal ac­claim from the New Yorker and the Guardian. Had­dad was se­lected as one of the top 100 Global thinkers of 2016 by For­eign Pol­icy Mag­a­zine. The in­ter­view high­lights Had­dad’s in­spi­ra­tion for the novel, and the strug­gle to re­claim the nar­ra­tive around Queer Arab sto­ries. Had­dad draws on the works of queer Arab ac­tivists and his own per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence to dis­cuss the strug­gle for free­dom and equal­ity in the Arab queer move­ment. Had­dad was a speaker of the event, “Re­claim­ing Queer Arab Sto­ries” hosted by the Mcgill Stu­dents in Sol­i­dar­ity for Pales­tinian Hu­man rights. The sec­ond seg­ment fea­tures ex­cerpts of Jenny Jeanes’ pre­sen­ta­tion on the gaps of Im­mi­gra­tion and Refugee law in Canada. The pre­sen­ta­tion was a part of “The Fu­ture of Refugee law in Canada”, an event hosted by The Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) Mcgill. Jeanes dis­cusses gaps and pol­icy loop­holes af­fect­ing refugees and those with non-le­gal sta­tus. She prob­lema­tizes the lack of ac­count­abil­ity in de­ten­tion laws, given the amount of dis­cre­tion given to im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers. Jeanes draws on re­cent cases of re­moval, where im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies failed to pro­tect those seek­ing pro­tec­tion in Canada. These cases high­light en­force­ment mea­sures that leave refugees at risk of a limbo, with no le­gal pro­tec­tion. Jeanes is cur­rently the pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor of Ac­tion Réfugiés Mon­tréal de­ten­tion pro­gram. She has vis­ited the Canada Bor­der Ser­vices Agency in Laval, Que­bec on a weekly ba­sis since 2005.

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