A bottle drive takes place this Sunday, June 9 to help with the legal costs of trying to bring home two Abbotsford kids who were illegally taken to Lebanon by their father a year ago.
The drive is being organized by Ethan, the good friend and classmate of Liam Tarabichi.
Liam, 8, and his sister Mia, 10, have been in Lebanon since March 2018.
They were scheduled to travel on a court-approved trip to Seattle with their dad Wissam Tarabichi – who is from Beirut – over spring break.
They didn’t return for the start of school on April 3, 2018 at Margaret Stenersen Elementary in Abbotsford, and their mom, Shelley Beyak, was notified.
It was then discovered that Tarabichi had indeed travelled to Seattle but, from there, he and the kids boarded a plane to Paris and then to Beirut, which does not recognize international parental kidnapping as a crime and where custody decisions are often made by religious authorities.
Beyak then launched an extensive legal battle – expected to cost more than $200,000 – to have them returned home.
Ethan and Liam both attended Margaret Stenersen and loved hanging out together.
They were just starting to play hockey, learn the joy of interactive video games, and build Lego creations together, when Liam and Mia were abducted.
The entire school has been impacted by their disappearance, and Ethan continues to dearly miss his friend.
Beyak travelled to Beirut in January and was able to spend some time with Mia and Liam, but she is still fighting the battle to bring them home.
A Canada-wide warrant for Tarabichi’s arrest remains in effect.
Ethan’s Bottle Drive to Bring Mia and Liam Home runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Margaret Stenersen Elementary, 3060 Old Clayburn Rd.
Ethan held a previous bottle drive for the cause in January.
Those wanting to help sort are asked to contact the fundraising team on Facebook (search “Ethan’s Bottle Drive” or “Bring Mia and Liam Home”).
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Vikki Hopes | Reporter
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