Salma Abuzaiter's dad: why he stayed in Gaza
Brantford, Ont., girl, 8, retrieved from Gaza while father stays to treat patients
Eight-year-old Salma Abuzaiter is back to her pink room in her Brantford, Ont., home after she was retrieved by Canadian officials from the conflict zone in Gaza, but her father Hassan Abuzuiter isn't coming back any time soon.
When Abuzuiter took his daughter to Gaza to see her grandmother in June, things were relatively peaceful. Then the missiles started flying, and Abuzuiter — a doctor — went to work in a hospital.
Meanwhile in Canada, Salma's mother Wesam Abuzaiter launched a media campaign to press Canadian officials to retrieve her daughter from the conflict zone.
- AUDIO: As It Happens - Hassan Abuzuiter explains why he took his daughter to Gaza
- Wesam Abuzaiter seeks help to get daughter out of Gaza
Wesam Abuzaiter said her husband felt he couldn't leave his work in the emergency room treating wounded civilians to escort their daughter from the country.
On Friday, Salma was reunited with her mother at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
During a brief ceasefire, Abuzuiter escorted his daughter to the Israeli border and into the care of Canadian officials. From there, she was transported to Amman, Jordan, and flew from there to Toronto.
In an interview on CBC Radio's As It Happens, Abuzuiter explained why he took his daughter to Gaza, why he couldn't send her back to Canada sooner, and why he decides to stay in the war zone.
Abuzuiter said he has seen injuries on children as young as two months old.
“I am an emergency physician, the only one who is qualified as an emergency physician here in Gaza that can help during these situations, because you know, there is a lot of patient, there is a lot of injury," he told As It Happens, after finishing a 24-hour shift.
Listen to his full interview with CBC Radio's As It Happens in the audio player. Scroll to 8:45 for the segment. You can also watch the reunion at the airport in the video player above.