Thursday April 24, 2014:

barndanceapril24Barn Dance Across Borders! A fundraiser for the Awan family

Thursday April 24, 8:30pm

at the Presbyterian College, 3495 rue University

Join us to celebrate community and justice as we dance and fiddle in solidarity with Kurshid Awan and her family. Mme. Awan has been in sanctuary in a Montreal church since August, and we are raising funds for her legal and medical expenses so that she can apply to stay in Canada with her daughter and grandson instead of being deported to Pakistan, where her life is in danger. This event is sponsored by the Radical Christians Student Assocation at McGill University, and all proceeds will go towards Solidarity Across Borders for their work with the Awan family!



5th Annual “Wanna Slow Dance?” : Fundraiser for the Awan family

9pm at the Decadent Squalor, Montreal, Facebook event here.

Back by popular demand, WANNA SLO-DANCE is happening once again!

Reserve MARCH 8TH for swaying together with friends & strangers in a dark and dreamy basement.

This event is to be a fundraiser for the Awan family. Khurshid Awan is currently resisting a deportation order, in the midst of health problems, and is living in sanctuary in a local church. All door $ goes to support this family for the various financial costs incurred while resisting the violence of the Canadian immigration system. More info available here:

More details about what EXACTLY you should expect on this magical night are on their way. xox

Please note that this venue is sadly not wheelchair accessible, and is also plagued by poor air quality, which is being dealt with, but remains an issue.


Musical solidarity with the Awan family: a community benefit concert & fundraiser

Wed. January 29, 2014
doors 8:30pm / $8 suggested donation
La Sala Rossa, 4848 St. Laurent
Montreal, Quebec

facebook event here.

Join us for a community benefit concert for the Awan family, a family facing and struggling against the institutional violence of the Canadian immigration system. Since August 2013, Khurshid Begum Awan, has been living in sanctuary inside a Montreal church. She made this difficult decision in an attempt to seek protection from an inherently unjust immigration and refugee determination system that punishes those seeking protection and solidarity. Artists will be coming together with the support of the Howl Arts Collective to raise much needed funds for the Awan family.

co-presented by Howl Arts Collective // Solidarité avec la famille Awan/ Justice for the Awan Family // CKUT FM // Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival

with performances by:

* Amir Amiri (santur) + Saeed Kamjoo (kamanche)

Amir Amiri, born in Tehran, Iran, where he studied the santur, a 72-string hammer dulcimer that lies at the heart of Persian classical music. Amiri has worked with Bob Becker, Edgar Meyer and David Takeno as well as jazz aritsts Hugh Fraser, Darcy Phillip Gray, Mike Murley and John Stetch. Amiri has worked extensively as a percussionist, composer, musical director and consultant for numerous Canadian dance and theatre companies. Recently Amiri released Arghavan a solo album.

Saeed Kamjoo, born in Tehran, Iran, is a Persian musician and composer who started learning kamancheh at the age of seventeen under the supervision of Ardeshir Kâmkâr and furthered studies in the instrumental and vocal repertoires of Classical Persian music while at the music department of Tehran University. Kamjoo’s approach to playing kamanche is based on his perception of the values inherent in classical Persian music, combining creativity and authenticity with innovation. In 1997 Kamjoo moved to Montreal and has since been collaborating with various ensembles, including the Dastan Ensemble, in Canada, the USA and Europe.

* A Sacred Cloud.

C’est apprendre à connaître musicalement une autre personne, quelqu’un de complice. Une musique méditative, transcendante, de voyage à travers les sens. S’évader de son propre corps, esprit et de manœuvre. Être dans un état de purification, oublier les ennuies du monde moderne pour une lévitation pacifiste. Contrôler ses émotions au dépend de sa rationalité. Être libre de tout acte, de pensées et de négativités. La musique n’est pas un art donné à tous, il suffit d’y comprendre le sens.

It’s getting to know somebody musically, someone that is a partner. Transcendental meditation music, this project is a journey through senses, nerves and silence. Escapees of the mind and body, they manoeuvre. Being in a constant state of purification, oblivion, forgetting modern world’s troubles to reach a peaceful levitation. Control your emotions at the expense of your own rationality. Being free of all actions, thoughts and negativities. Music is not for everybody, you just have to grasp its meaning.

* Prasun Lala

Le guitariste Montréalais Prasun Lala fait la moitié du duo violoncelle / guitare Horses Vanish, qui joue de la musique acoustique aux accents orchestraux et aux teintes équestres. Il fait aussi partie d’autres groupes musicales Montréalaises et a composé et enregistré de la musique pour le cinéma et le théâtre. Il est impliqué avec les groupes artistiques et engagées – Montréal Serai et Teesri Duniya Theatre – depuis de nombreuses années.

Montreal guitarist Prasun Lala is one half of the cello/guitar duo Horses Vanish, whose acoustic music hints at chamberal and progressive equine shades. He also performs as the member of several other bands and has composed and recorded music for film and theatre. He has been heavily involved with the activist arts groups Montreal Serai and Teesri Duniya Theatre for many years.

* Norman Nawrocki (violin) + Stefan Christoff (piano)

Norman Nawrocki is an internationally acclaimed, Montréal-based author, actor, violinist, cabaret artist, educator & producer.

Stefan Christoff is a Montreal-based community activist, independent media maker and piano player.


*** Calling on all knitters, crocheters, banner and craft-makers! **  Please spread the word!

The Awan Family Support Committee, in collaboration with the No Borders Collective, is planning an action on December 18th to commemorate International Migrants Day. The action aims to demand status for Mrs. Khurshid Begum Awan, who has been in sanctuary in a Montreal church since this summer, and to demand freedom for all migrants.

Since her time in sanctuary, Mrs. Awan`s experience has been one marked by enormous powerlessness, frustration, fear, stress, but also incredible strength and determination. Deprived of the ability to buy groceries or cook for her family and guests, visit people in her neighborhood or take walks for fresh air, knitting has become an important aspect of Mrs. Awan’s daily life.  It is not only an important way for Mrs Awan to pass the time, but also for her to express her love by making things for the people she cares about.  For us, it is important to share and honour this, and other facets of her identity, in her fight for status, justice, and dignity.
We therefore invite you to a collective knit-crochet-craft-in on Wednesday, December 11, 5-9pm at Coop Le Milieu
1251 Robin
(metro Beaudry).Come when you can and for as long as you wish.  If you cannot make the meeting but want to get involved, please get in touch with us at (we may have some patterns.explanations.instructions for people who will be knitting from home).
We will also be returning to the Coop Le Milieu (1251 Robin) on Monday, December 16th 5-9pm to assemble the collective piece!
Khurshid Begum Awan is a Pakistani refugee who courageously decided to defy a deportation order issued on August 21st, 2013. Since then, she has been forced to live in a church in Montreal, waiting for her status to be regularized. This has forced her to miss medical appointments and endure intimidation by Canada Borders Service Agents (CBSA). If deported to Pakistan, Mrs. Awan will be at risk of multiple forms of violence, including death due to lack of proper health care and murder by members of the anti-Shia group, Sipah-e-Sahaba.  Deportation for Mrs Awan also means indefinite if not permanent separation from her daughter Tahira Malik, a refugee and now Canadian citizen who has lived in Canada for 13 years, and teenage grandson whom she raised as her own son.


Fall Feast for the Awan Familyfall feast awan poster (no bleed) (3)

Tuesday November 26, 2013
2515 Delisle
(Metro Lionel-Groulx)

The Awan Family Support Committee and Radical Christian Association of McGill invite you to a community dinner and fall feast in solidarity with the Awan Family.

Join us for an evening of food, music, and performances to affirm support for the Awan family and to celebrate their struggle. This event also aims to raise funds to cover costs related to groceries, legal fees, and medical expenses.

Please note that venue is wheelchair accessible. Childcare will also be provided on-site. Bring your kids! All are welcome!

* Background:

For the past three months, Khurshid Begum Awan has been living in sanctuary in a Montreal church. She originally arrived in Canada in 2011, accompanied by her husband, Mohamed Khalil Awan and her grandson, Ali. At the time, the family was fleeing violence at the hands of anti-Shia gangs in Pakistan, and hoping to join their daughter, Tahira Malik, who had arrived in Canada as a refugee claimant in 2000. However, Mr. And Mrs. Awan’s refugee claim was rejected in December 2012, and Mr. Awan was deported in April 2013. Despite her fragile health, her request for a stay of removal was refused and she was ordered deported soon thereafter, with the removal proceedings against her delayed only temporarily after she suffered a heart attack in the Montreal CBSA office on July 4th. A mere three weeks later, the CBSA sparked public outcry by entering a hospital emergency room and attempting to detain Mrs. Awan and only agreed to leave after hospital staff insisted that they abide by Canada`s own guidelines, stipulating that recent heart attack survivors not travel for at least six weeks. On August 20th, however, she was called into the CBSA`s office and given a removal date for the following evening. Despite the government`s disregard for her health and safety, Mrs. Awan courageously decided to defy her deportation. Since then, the family has been organizing a public campaign to obtain status for Khurshid Begum Awan, to secure the return of Mohamed Khalil Awan, and to ensure that the entire family- including Tahira and Ali- may live in justice and dignity.

* For more information:




100 Days Too Many!awanpicket
Picket Outside of the CIC
in solidarity with the Awan Family

Where: Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices
1010 Rue Saint Antoine Ouest
Metro Bonaventure

When: Thursday November 28, 2013
12:00pm –1:00pm

100 days of inaction from Immigration Minister Chris Alexander
100 days of surveillance and intimidation by Canadian Border Services Agency
100 days of living in hiding and in fear
100 days of defiance against unjust and violent government regulations

November 28th 2013 marks the one-hundredth day of sanctuary for Mrs.Khurshid Begum Awan, a Pakistani refugee who has courageously decided not to comply with a deportation order issued to her in August 2013.Facing the inability to access necessary care for major health
problems, separation from her family, and the spectre of physical violence (even murder) upon return to Pakistan, Khurshid has been given little choice but to take sanctuary in a church in order to fight against systems that work to oppress and reject her.

On this 100th day anniversary, join us in a show of solidarity and anger against the systemic exclusion of migrants in Canadian society, the violence within Canada’s Refugee and Immigration system, and the unjust reality that the Awan family, and so many like them, are forced to live with every day.

We demand that Khurshid Begum Awan be granted status immediately, that her husband be allowed to return to Canada to join his family, and that the family be able to live a life of justice and dignity.

Download flyers here.

For more information:

Leave a Reply