Let's Correct the Misleading Farsi Welcome Sign at Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Petitioned Greater Toronto Airport Authority

This petition was delivered to:

Greater Toronto Airport Authority

Let's Correct the Misleading Farsi Welcome Sign at Toronto Pearson International Airport

    1. Petition by

      Reza Banai

      Toronto, Canada

  1.  
  2.   
July 2012

Victory

Dear friends, Please find bellow, the response from Paul Kopas of the GTAA. They have agreed to both counts on our petition and will take corrective actions. Thank you all for making our voices heard and for bringing our community closer together. Reza Banai *************************************** Hi Mr. Banai, I hope you had a great CA Day weekend. Over the past few weeks we have continued to seek input and consultation to your outlined concerns with the representation of the Iranian girl in the installation of child-ambassadors welcoming our guests. As previously mentioned, we have confirmed that the translation needs to be adjusted to best fit the context it is displayed; changing it from “welcomed” to “welcome”. Regarding the visual representation, specifically the wearing of the hijab, we have consulted broadly with inputs from others within the Iranian community and have consulted with an academic. Based on all of these inputs, we now have a better understanding regarding the hijab and are now seeking alternative images that are more representative of the majority of Iranian-Canadians living in Toronto. With this, I don’t believe our meeting later this week is required. Once again, thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. Regards, Paul Paul Kopas, General Manager Marketing and Brand Development Greater Toronto Airports Authority

This petition seeks to inform the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, the entity in charge of Toronto's Pearson Airport, that they should immediately correct the Persian/Farsi welcome sign displayed in Toronto's Pearson Airport.  Upon arriving at Pearson, the travelers pass by a series of photos of children from different nationalities holding welcome signs in their respective native languages.  There are two issues with the photo of the child representing the Iranian-Canadian community:

1- The Persian phrase used for "Welcome" is grammatically incorrect.

2- The picture of a little girl in Islamic hijab grossly distorts the reality about the Iranian-Canadian community:  a community that is ethnically and religiously diverse and many of whose members have embraced the right to dress freely in Canada.    By portraying Iranian-Canadians as Islamic, the photo excludes many of our community members who are Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, or Baha’i or who simply choose not to practice.  Furthermore, the photo uses a child to convey a politically charged and incorrect message.  We do not believe that children should be used for such a purpose. 

This petition is meant to bring these two important points to the attention of the GTAA in hopes that they will be rectified.

The petition organizers wish to thank the Iranian-Canadian community and their allies for their support in this regard.  

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. GTAA has accepted the terms of our petition

      Reza Banai
      Petition Organiser

      Hi Mr. Banai, I hope you had a great Canada Day weekend.

      Over the past few weeks we have continued to seek input and consultation to your outlined concerns with the representation of the Iranian girl in the installation of child-ambassadors welcoming our guests. As previously mentioned, we have confirmed that the translation needs to be adjusted to best fit the context it is displayed; changing it from “welcomed” to “welcome”. Regarding the visual representation, specifically the wearing of the hijab, we have consulted broadly with inputs from others within the Iranian community and have consulted with an academic. Based on all of these inputs, we now have a better understanding regarding the hijab and are now seeking alternative images that are more representative of the majority of Iranian-Canadians living in Toronto. With this, I don’t believe our meeting later this week is required. Once again, thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

      Regards,
      Paul

    3. GTAA Response and next step:

      Reza Banai
      Petition Organiser

      The petition organizers would like to thank each of you for taking the time to add your voice and supporting our demand for a fair representation of the Iranian-Canadian community at Pearson Airport.
      We would also like to offer you an update about our efforts. On Monday, May 28th, we received a response from the GTAA Customer Service. While we do not believe that the response sufficiently addresses the important issues we have raised, we look forward to meeting with Mr. Kopas, the GTAA's General Manager for Marketing and Brand Development, and discussing our concerns with him. We will keep you updated on all developments.

    4. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Rochelle Kuystermans LANGDON, AL
      • over 1 year ago

      We need to stop explationg and steroyping people.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • dfsadsfa adsfasfszdf MIRA TAGLIO, ITALY
      • over 1 year ago

      get a job!!!!!!!! don't you have something to do with your time,

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • R.WM.(RON) DUNSTER DELISLE, CANADA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Go with the majority - do you not? Or are you backwards? They change their style when they came here - so change the picture.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Farshad Zarrabian MIAMI, FL
      • about 2 years ago

      This sign is what I absolutely dislike about Toronto.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Laila Saber RICHMOND HILL, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      Beside of being grammatically wrong, "hijab" has nothing to do with my rich Persian culture.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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