Abu Dhabi: A grieving Emirati father has been sharing the tragic story of his teenage son’s death with residents and citizens to alert parents to be more vigilant about their children. He has called on parents to personally monitor their children’s activities rather than relying on domestic helpers to supervise them.
In January, when Eid Faraj Mubarak Al Kaabi’s 16-year-old son, Mubarak, asked his permission to go out with his friends to celebrate after his exams had got over, his father did not think that it would be the last time he would see his young son, who was the fifth child among his siblings, including two elder brothers aged 23 and 22 and three sisters aged 21, 19 and 14.
“He told me he wanted to hang out with some friends. I told the [family] driver to accompany my son and his friends and watch them closely,” said Al Kaabi in an interview with Gulf News.
Unknown to Al Kaabi, when Mubarak met his two friends at their homes in Abu Dhabi’s Al Bahia area, they took out a car without permission from their parents and sneaked out to drive around and try stunts.
Al Kaabi said his family driver was aware that his son was driving around in a car with his friends, but he did not inform the family. “I usually check on Mubarak when he’s out with friends. I’m not sure why on that day I didn’t call him,” he said.
Later that night Al Kaabi received a call from the driver to inform him that Mubarak had been killed in a car accident.
“I was devastated and broke into tears. I looked for my elder sons... I stood speechless, just sobbing and told them Mubarak had died.
“We rushed to the accident site. The car had crashed into a lamp post and was cut in two pieces,” added Al Kaabi.
Mubarak and one of his friends had died on the spot. Al Kaabi said his son’s body was so badly disfigured by the force of the accident that he could not bring himself to look at him.
Although Al Kaabi does not blame the driver for the death of his son, he has been sharing his story with parents so that they don’t make the same mistake of relying heavily on domestic help when it comes to their children.
“I do not want other parents and families to suffer from the loss of a child… It’s a devastating and agonising feeling.
“Children as young as Mubarak and his friends should not be driving in the first place, their safety and security is our responsibility as parents, and we should not leave them without supervision,” the grieving father said.
Abu Dhabi Police officials have revealed that 45 per cent of traffic accidents involved youth aged between 18 and 30. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the 33rd GCC Traffic Week held in Abu Dhabi from March 12 until March 16.