Shelley Beyak is shown here with her son Liam and daughter Mia in Abbotsford before they were abducted to Lebanon by their father last spring. Beyak is now in Beirut visiting them.

Abbotsford mom travels to Beirut to visit abducted kids

Shelley Beyak urges prime minister to intervene in matter

An Abbotsford mom whose two kids were illegally taken to Lebanon by their father last year has made physical contact with them and is urging the Canadian government to help her in her battle to bring them home.

Shelley Beyak is currently in Beirut, where her son Liam, 8, and Mia, 10, are now living with their father, Wissam Tarabichi, and she has had some visits with them.

Beyak was first able to speak with her kids over the holidays, and a post was shared on the “Bring Mia and Liam Home” Facebook page on Jan. 1.

WISSAM TARABICHI

“Much thanks to all who helped make this happen and pray this will become the norm until they are returned to Canada,” the post stated.

An update on Jan. 30 indicated that Beyak was in Beirut and had seen the kids “over the past few weekends.”

“We are so grateful for the contact, and hope this is the beginning of resolution,” the post stated.

Details of how these events transpired were not shared, and The Abbotsford News has not yet been able to reach Beyak in Beirut.

Meanwhile, Beyak’s situation has been raised in the House of Commons, with Abbotsford MP Ed Fast and Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene in the matter.

“Lebanese court orders aren’t being enforced, and it appears the only thing that will help is a presidential order. This will require intervention from the prime minister,” Fast said.

Doherty raised the issue during question period on Feb. 1.

He said Trudeau received a petition last September with more than 930 signatures from Canadians urging him to intervene in the matter. He asked for unanimous consent to table the document.

Doherty said that when Beyak travelled to Beirut, her requests for an escort and translation services through Global Affairs Canada were denied.

“I find it appalling that the Canadian government refuses to get involved and provide any tangible means of support,” Doherty said.

“Justin Trudeau is letting the mother of two kidnapped children fend for herself in a hostile foreign country, and all she’s asking for is a little support.”

READ MORE: Abbotsford mom fights to get back kids abducted to Lebanon by their dad

READ MORE: Event raises funds to help bring back kids abducted to Lebanon

Mia and Liam have been in Lebanon since last spring. They were scheduled to travel on a court-approved trip to Seattle with their dad – who is from Beirut – over spring break.

They didn’t return for the start of school on April 3 at Margaret Stenersen Elementary in Abbotsford, and 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 issues 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.

There is a Canada-wide warrant in place for Tarabichi’s arrest on a charge of abduction.

Just Posted

One man in custody after heavily armed Abbotsford police units barricade house while serving warrant

Police barricades blocked off roadway on Upper MacLure Road and Firhill Drive

Winner declared in downtown Mission banner contest

Local artist Nico Abais chose the category of nature and named his banner Naturally Mission

Abbotsford school support staff vote 95 per cent in favour of strike

Teamsters Local 31 and school district negotiators to meet with mediator on Oct. 31

City errs in posting boil-water advisory for Abbotsford and Mission

‘Draft weblink’ mistakenly goes live on city website Thursday night

Small, untested company behind plans for massive aerospace plant

Abbotsford was labelled a possible destination for a small company’s big manufacturing plans

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Mission Roadrunners blanked home

Senior varsity football team on wrong end of defensive battle

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Most Read