Students end up in same Maple Ridge school, first meet in airport in France

January 21, 2023

By Colleen Flanagan, Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News

Grade 7 students Yousif Al Tlua and Layth Mabrouk are in the same class at Laity View Elementary

Two Canadian children travelling from different countries in North Africa, ended up in the same class at a Maple Ridge elementary school.

Yousif Al Tlua and Layth Mabrouk were both on their way home with their families – one travelling from Tunisia and the other from Libya – when they started talking together during a five hour stopover at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France.

Layth, his mother Hajer Daoud, and father Qualid Mabrouk, were on their way home from a vacation in Tunis.

Yousif, his mother Maleka Ben Mahei, and father Basim Al Tlua, were on their way home from Libya.

What neither family knew was that they were on their way to the same small community outside Vancouver, and that their sons were also going to attend the same school.

As the families both spoke the same Arabic language they struck up a conversation about online vaccine forms that they had to fill out before entry into Canada.

Their sons also started talking and playing together.

The families parted ways when the flight began to board, Air France, headed to Vancouver.

“We didn’t know we were going to the same province, the same city, and the same school,” Layth’s mother Hajer laughed.

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