Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Almalki was born in Syria and emigrated to Canada as a boy. He worked in the Ottawa area as an engineer, and had a casual acquaintance with Maher Arar; this connection later provided the rationale for Arar's arrest and deportation by the U.S. government.
In 2002 he returned to Syria to visit relatives. This was the first time he had returned since leaving the country as a boy; he had opted not to visit previously since Syria does not permit revocation of citizenship and requires mandatory military service of all male Syrian citizens. Prior to this visit, he paid fees of up to $15,000 U.S. to stay exempt from the military requirement. However, upon his arrival he was immediately arrested on suspicion of terrorist connections, due to his time in Afghanistan.
In an interview with CBC shortly after Maher Arar's release from Syria, Arar described encountering him in prison, weak, emaciated and suffering from the effects of torture.
He was released in July 2004 and immediately returned to Canada.
Almalki has a brother, Dr. Youssef Almalki, who lives in Toronto.
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