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Rumors had floated in the family that Ahmad was planning on staying in Lebanon with the boys, intending to miss their flight back.After Bimbachi reported the situation to the Canadian authorities, the children were identified as legally abducted under international law.However, because Bimbachi and Ahmad had a religious marriage in Lebanon, local jurisdiction does not recognize any criminal activity as having taken place. According to religious courts, the father has the right to take the children where he pleases.For Ahmad, it makes no sense that people would say he abducted his children. While Ahmad did not clarify why he decided to take the children out of Canada, he said that he had been "ashamed" of his relationship with Bimbachi as the two are first cousins.Although Lebanon has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child that calls for the "best interest" of children, in practice the country has not strictly followed it.Aouad noted that cases of international "abduction" weren't new in Lebanon or around the world.According to the U.S. State Department's 2018 annual report on international child abduction, 17 separate cases have opened since 2016 involving an American child taken to Lebanon without the approval of both parents.
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