‘Don’t mourn Obaida until his killer is dead’
Mum of murdered boy wants to see justice served before she accepts condolences for loss
The mother of a young boy who was abducted from outside his home and strangled has said she will not be able to rest until his killer is brought to justice.
Zainab Al Aqrabawi yesterday demanded the death penalty for her son’s killer.
Police have detained Nedal Issa Abdullah, 48, on suspicion of murder. It is claimed he tried to rape Jordanian boy Obaida Al Aqrabawi before killing him and dumping the body in the Dubai suburb of Al Warqa.
Speaking to 7DAYS at her home in Sharjah, Zainab, 30, said: “I want to see my son’s killer being executed in front of my eyes.”
She added: “We will not accept condolences or receive mourners until the murderer is executed.”
Zainab was speaking as dozens of people gathered in the family’s fourth-floor apartment in Sharjah Industrial Area 8 to support the Al Aqrabawis.
Zainab said her son was “smart and passionate to learn more”.
She said she finds it impossible to comprehend why Obaida would have been killed.
“I can’t believe that a stranger has taken him away from me and deprived me from my only son forever,” she said, speaking through tears. “I wish he had just let him go.” Meanwhile, a social worker at Al Jeel Al Jadid Private School, where Obaida studied, described how pupils wept yesterday morning as they took part in a memorial for Obaida.
The school posted a tribute on its Facebook page, which read: “With hearts faithful in God’s justice and strength, with grief and sadness, the Al Jadid family offers its condolences to our school’s loss, the student Obaida Ibrahim. May God have mercy on him and his family.”
Also yesterday, UAE residents took to social media demanding the execution of the suspected killer, if convicted. The hashtag ‘execute Obaida’s killer in public’ was trending on Twitter.
Aya Al Aqrabawi cried herself to sleep after being told the news of her brother’s death. Her sister Tala, aged three, is too young to understand exactly what was happened, but she knows Obaida is not coming home.
“She does not fully understand what happened, however, she misses him a lot,” says their mother, Zainab.
She was speaking to 7DAYS at their home in Sharjah yesterday as they struggle to come to terms with the loss of Obaida.
“I am experiencing the worst nightmare ever in my life,” Zainab says. “My son was smart and passionate to learn more.
“I can’t believe a stranger has deprived me of my only son forever.
“I wish he had just let him go. We would have searched in every corner across the UAE to find him.”
Their apartment was packed yesterday as family members and friends offered support.
They had faced an anxious wait since Obaida vanished on Friday about 7.30pm. They received the news they feared late on Sunday night.
“Obaida could not do anything to defend himself from suffering the violence at the hands of his attacker,” Zainab says. “His killer is not a human… he killed my beloved son with no feeling… no mercy. I’m told he killed my son after trying to sexually assault him, he did not show any mercy towards a little boy.” Obaida had been playing outside his home in Sharjah Industrial Area 8. Zainab says: “On the day of the incident, Obaida insisted on going outside to play although I tried to prevent him and keep him at home.
“I did not know that the death angel was roaming around him."
Zainab says the family knew the suspect in their child’s death.
She adds he was a frequent customer to the business and had brought his car for repair.
“He is not a friend of my husband, but a mere customer,” she says. “He visited our house a few times as my husband's workshop is on the ground floor, where my son used to play.
“He tried to make my son like him by promising many times to bring gifts for him. The last time, he promised to buy a scooter for him.”
Zainab adds: “Obaida was really active on the day he died. He prepared a schedule with me to study for his exams. Then he went and never came back.
“In the past two days, I have woken up every day and gone to wake him up for school.
“I can’t imagine that I have lost Obaida forever. I can’t imagine that I lost a piece of my heart.”
TAKEN: Obaida, 7, was snatched from near his home in Sharjah and found dead in Dubai