‘I’ll never let my girls out of my sight’

Dad’s grief one month on from son’s killing

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - By Nawal Al Ramahi @nawal_ramahi nawal@7days.ae

The fa­ther of a young boy who was kid­napped from out­side his Shar­jah home and found stran­gled has said the tragedy has made him all the more pro­tec­tive of his two daugh­ters.

Ibrahim Al Aqrabawi spoke to 7DAYS one month on from the death of his son Obaida.

The Jor­da­nian, who owns a car re­pair busi­ness, said he no longer lets his daugh­ters, Tala, three, Aya, six, out of his sight.

The man ac­cused of kid­nap­ping, sex­u­ally as­sault­ing and mur­der­ing Obaida, Nedal Issa Ab­dul­lah, 48, is ex­pected to go on trial in the com­ing weeks and pros­e­cu­tors are to de­mand the death sen­tence if he is con­victed of mur­der. Al Aqrabawi said: “My son’s death changed many as­pects in my life. My fam­ily is strug­gling to come to terms with the loss of Obaida. “How­ever, no words or tears will bring back my son. I will brave the bit­ter grief that comes and I will try my best to pro­tect my daugh­ters, aged three and six. “I don’t let my daugh­ters play out­side any­more and I drop them to school my­self. This crime has left a painful mark on my fam­ily. I don’t work any­more, I can’t con­cen­trate. I keep think­ing about the case.”

Obaida van­ished from near his home in In­dus­trial Area 8 on May 20 and was found un­der a tree in the Al Warqa area of Dubai on May 22. His death led to an out­pour­ing of grief in the wider com­mu­nity.

Manal Al Aqrabawi, a cousin of Obaida’s, said the fam­ily has ral­lied round to sup­port each other. She said: “The fam­ily’s faith has car­ried them through the tragic in­ci­dent that took the life of Obaida, the fam­ily’s only son.

“Obaida’s mother, Zainab, is hold­ing her­self to­gether. She prays and reads Qu­ran most of the time ask­ing God for strength to over­come this dif­fi­cult time. She also keeps her­self busy with her daugh­ters, Tala and Aya.”

On Wed­nes­day, Dubai At­tor­ney Gen­eral Es­sam Al Hu­maidan called for the death penalty if Ab­dul­lah is con­victed, and said pros­e­cu­tors would push for a prompt trial.

He also said Ab­dul­lah has al­ready ad­mit­ted the charges, and even reen­acted the mur­der for in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

MOURN­ING: Ibrahim with his daugh­ters, Tala and Aya, af­ter Obaida’s body was found. Inset, Obaida

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