‘I’ll never let my girls out of my sight’
Dad’s grief one month on from son’s killing
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