Abu Dhabi: While a little apprehension is common among schoolchildren before the start of a new school year, this September is a harder time to face for one little girl and her family.
Loujain Hussain, the 11-year-old who suffered a brutal schoolyard attack last April, is still unsure of where she will be attending school once the new academic year begins.
She wants to go back to her previous school, Al Ma’ali International Private School, and continue studying with her friends, but her parents are adamant that their daughter should not return to the institution where she suffered such grave injuries.
“She was badly hurt at Al Ma’ali and no one took responsibility. As her parents, we do not want her to go back to the same school in Grade 8. Loujain, however, wants to go back because that is where her friends are enrolled,” Maha Hussain, her mother told Gulf News.
“She has become so withdrawn and reserved since the incident. We know, too, that she is comfortable with her school friends, and that it will be hard for her to be around completely new people in a different school. But then, how can we accept her going back to the same school where she was hurt?” the concerned parent said.
In an attack that rocked the nation, Loujain, a Grade 7 pupil in April, suffered from a brain haemorrhage after being beaten up by a group of Grade 4 pupils at her school. Following the attack, she remained in a coma for nearly three weeks while hospitalised at the SKMC.
“The attack has permanently damaged the left-field vision in both of her eyes. Moreover, she is always shy now, afraid to be alone and has lost her sense of confidence. She doesn’t make eye contact and she is scared of new people,” Maha said.
Loujain also never talks of the incident.
The family is now looking for a doctor who can help Loujain with her physical and mental injuries.
“During the summer, we enrolled her at an institute where she studied Computer Studies, Islamic and Arabic. On the first day, I had to sit by her during the lessons,” Maha said.
Despite the severity of the attack and its consequences, Loujain’s family members also say that justice has eluded them.
“The school never took responsibility for the attack, and there were no consequences for the boys who attacked her. To my knowledge, the court case has already been concluded with no one taking responsibility either,” Maha said.
Mahran Hussain, Loujain’s older brother, said the lawyer who was pursuing their case stopped contacting them abruptly.
“We are still seeking justice however, and would really appreciate any lawyer who can help us,” he said.
In the meantime, Loujain’s parents are pondering over where to enrol her.
Hamad Al Dhaheri, executive director of private schools and quality assurance at the Abu Dhabi Education Council, told Gulf News that a list of schools where Loujain can continue her education had been suggested.
“We are waiting to hear back from her parents so that we can aid any admission or other procedures,” he added.