Alison Azer

Six months without her children

Alison Azer's four children never returned from a holiday with their father

  • Feb. 18, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record staff


It’s a date Alison Azer would rather forget.

Feb. 15 marked six months since the Courtenay mother has seen her four children who were allegedly abducted by their father last summer.

In August, Alison Azer received word her ex-husband – Dr. Saren Azer (also known as Salahaddin Mahummudi-Azer) – hadn’t returned to Canada from a court-approved trip to Europe with her children Sharvahn, 11, Rojevahn, 9, Dersim, 7 and Meitan, 3.

Comox Valley RCMP sought and obtained a Canada Wide Warrant of Arrest for Azer – who practised at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox. INTERPOL also lists the children as missing on their website.

In early December, Azer located her children – in a guarded compound – and was working with the Canadian and Kurdistan Regional Government to recover the children.

On Tuesday, Alison told The Record she returned to Canada after travelling to Kurdistan in late October with the goal of finding the children.

She said she was optimistic that they would soon be released and returned to Canada after she discovered their location.

Complications arose and on the 150th day of her children away from her, she returned to Canada.

“It was a challenging, gratifying and exhausting time,” she noted. “Coming back to Canada was hard; to me, it’s not home. Home is only where my kids are.”

Azer said she is “deeply touched and forever grateful” for the community support she has received and the desire to bring the children home safely.

“There are so many people tirelessly working to bring the children home. Part of me thought as time passes, people will get busy … I didn’t want to have unrealistic expectations … the support I have from my community – I’m forever thankful. Everything – from the letter-writing campaign to the taco fund – it all counts.”

She said she has fought a “very long, expensive and lonely battle” and regards the support she’s received as the silver lining.

“I’m not alone in that fight. I can’t imagine having to do an hour of this without the legion of supporters with me.”

Azer also credits Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns for his help advocating for the children with the federal government.

“The government assured me that they are using every tool at their disposal,” he explained over the phone from Ottawa. “They are actively engaging with all the stakeholders and key players in the region.”

Johns added he has been working with the Trudeau government “from day one,” and the government is very well-informed about the case. He explained while he will not let up pursuing the case, he added with spring coming, activity in the region picks up and “we’re all very nervous.”

“I’ve been deeply moved by the response from the Valley … it makes me hug my kids just a little bit tighter. There isn’t a night that goes by where I don’t think of (Alison’s) family.”

Alison noted her goal is to keep moving forward until her kids come home safely.

“I go to bed every night grateful for what I’ve achieved that day. I wake up every morning saying ‘the only job you have is to have the courage until you have to go to bed tonight.’”

For more information or to support Alison, visit or search Bring Alison’s 4 Kids Home on Facebook.


Just Posted

Work continues on Courtenay’s 4th Street Improvement Project

4th street will be closed to traffic between Duncan and Cliffe Avenue

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

Pride Society of the Comox Valley set to kick off week-long celebration

The organization is celebrating Pride Week with a variety of events to bring the community together.

Cannabis facility planned in Courtenay

Design up to 100,000 square feet

Major private donation to Kus-kus-sum project

Frank and Bobbi Denton, longtime residents of the Comox Valley, have donated… Continue reading

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018… Continue reading

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Most Read