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Saudi students sell cars, furniture as they are forced to leave Canada



Canada leave to Saudi Arabia
People at the airport
before boarding a flight from Toronto, Canada, to Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, in August.

Donovan/File Photo

  • Canada and Saudi Arabia have been feuding since
    Canada’s foreign minister called out Saudi Arabia’s human
    rights record on Twitter in early August.
  • In response, Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian
    ambassador, frozen all new investments, and canceled all
    flights to Toronto.
  • It also pulled thousands of students from Saudi
  • Thousands of students have to leave by August
  • Many are now scrambling to sell their belongings,
    including cars and furniture, online and in garage sales before
    they leave the country.

The diplomatic feud between Canada and Saudi Arabia means that
around 8,000 Saudi students studying in Canada have to leave the
country by August 31 — leaving them scrambling to sell off their

The Saudi government announced on August 7 that it would
recall students on government grants or scholarships from Canada.
Since then, students have been trying to sell all their
belongings online and in garage sales — from pots and pans to
chairs to cars.

The Ummah Mosque and community center in Halifax, Nova
Scotia, held two garage sales on August 12 and August 17 to help
students to help the students sell their belongings.

Imam Abdullah Yousri, who runs the mosque, said he decided
to hold the sales when he saw so many students were trying to get
rid of their stuff online.

He told the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation
: “They’re selling their cars,
their homes, their furniture — everything. So we thought this is
the best way to help them to do so.”

He added
on the Facebook event page
for one of the garage

“Such garage sale is open for all the
community but especially our Saudi student brethren to
assist them in the sale of their belongings.”

Here’s what the first garage sale looked like.

It was so successful that the mosque
held a second one for cars later that week
. The cars on sale
that day included 2010 Dodge Journey and a
2010 Hyundai Sonata, according to a Facebook
Marketplace ad
for the event.

Those selling their cars online also
revealed their sadness at having to part with their

One student selling a 2018 Nissan Rogue S on Facebook in Ontario
said he was “an unfortunate Saudi Student who is been
forced to leave Canada due to the clash with Saudi

“When I have purchased this car, it meant to be my
everlasting but sometimes you have no option. It is still
like-new brand car, everything is awesome and perfect,” he added.
“I have oil sprayed it this summer to be ready for the winter,
but sadly I won’t even stay for the fall!”

Elsewhere, many students are

tables, televisions, chairs, and
shelves on
Facebook Marketplace
, while   others are

Kijiji, a Canadian buy-and-sell website,
to get rid of
and mattresses.

Canada saudi arabia Trudeau vs bin Salman
composite image of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin

Getty Images/Business

How the feud came to be

Saudi Arabia announced on August 7 that it would withdraw all
students it had been sponsoring in Canadian universities after
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, criticized Saudi
Arabia’s human rights record on Twitter.

Freeland had been responding to the news that the Saudi
government arrested several activists, including the sister of a
Canadian citizen. In response, Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian
ambassador, frozen all new investment, and canceled all
flights to Toronto.

Neither country is willing to back down, with Canadian Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau saying on Thursday that his
government is continuing to “engage diplomatically”
Saudi Arabia, but that he is “concerned” after news broke that

a Saudi woman is facing a death sentence
for her political

Canadian universities have been trying to support their Saudi
students in wake of the new policy. Five universities said on
Wednesday that the Saudi trainee doctors enrolled in
their programs had been granted an extra three weeks in the
country, and can stay until September 22, according to

The University of Toronto’s vice-provost for
international student experience, Joseph Wong,
also said in a statement
: “
This is a very stressful
time for these students. Their studies have been interrupted, and
we want to help them to continue their education.

“We will be working with them, our colleagues at other
universities and with government officials, as the situation
continues to evolve.” 

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