Stuck in Lebanon with a newborn baby

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A Laval resident from Lebanon, left to join his wife in Beirut for the birth of their child just before the devastating explosion, urges Canada to speed up the process of sponsoring his wife given the instability in this country.

Images of the damage to the family home which was heavily damaged by the explosion.

Courtesy photo

Images of the damage to the family home which was heavily damaged by the explosion.

Beirut explosion

Beirut explosion

Beirut explosion

“There is no question that I will go back to Montreal without my family,” Amer Mansour, 24, says. The situation in Lebanon will become very dangerous on the political side. “

The gigantic explosion of August 4 at the port of Beirut, which is said to be attributable to 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse for years, rekindled the anger of the Lebanese against their government.

Since then, the popular protest movement has grown steadily, which makes Laval residents fear the worst.

On Monday evening, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the resignation of his government. This capitulation should not however satisfy the people who demand the departure of the entire political class accused of corruption and incompetence.

“The revolt is everywhere,” says Mr. Mansour, who took refuge two days after the explosion in a hotel in Tripoli with his wife, Loubaba El Alti, 21, and their daughter, Abir, born on July 22.

“We moved to Tripoli because the air is less toxic,” adds the father. It could be dangerous for the baby’s health. “

Speed ​​up sponsorship

Born in Texas to Beirut parents, Amer Mansour has lived in Laval with his family since the age of 4. He is now self-employed in landscaping maintenance in the summer, and in snow removal in winter.

He and little Abir are Canadian citizens.

Last December, he applied for sponsorship from his wife, to whom he has been married since 1er August 2019, in order for her to obtain her permanent residence in Canada.

“The processing times for spousal sponsorship files are usually 12 to 18 months,” argues immigration lawyer Stéphane Handfield. But with COVID, the wait has exploded. ”

In Lebanon since July 17, Mr. Mansour was due to return to Montreal on August 19.

“But it is out of the question to return without my family, especially not after this accident,” he pleads.

According to Me Handfield, the only way for Loubaba El Alti to return home quickly would be “for the Minister of Immigration of Canada to issue a temporary residence permit for humanitarian reasons given the situation in Lebanon”.

The family could thus be reunited in Canada during the study of the sponsorship file.

“I called today [lundi], the documents are with Quebec Immigration. But I want to bring them back with me ”drops Mr. Mansour.


Like 300,000 other Beirutis, Loubaba El Alti’s family is left homeless.

The family home located two kilometers from the port was heavily damaged.

“When the earth started to shake, we went to hide in the corridor because there are no windows,” says Mr. Mansour. After 15 minutes, we went outside. It was catastrophic. There was blood on the ground, the neighbors were screaming, we didn’t know what to do. ”

But even in Tripoli where the family fled, 80 kilometers from Beirut, the blast of the explosion is felt.

“There is no electricity, no refrigerator to put my child’s milk, we are malnourished, the food is too expensive, the water is not drinkable,” he continues. I do not know what to do. I wanted to go to Turkey, but my baby doesn’t have a passport. We’re stuck in Lebanon. “

At the time of this writing, neither the provincial nor the federal government had granted an interview to the Newspaper.

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