Kalba: In Tareef, a village near the mountains of Kalba, a family lost two brothers who laid down their lives in the line of duty in Yemen last month.
Understandably grief-stricken, the Al Beloushi household, like all other families who lost their dear ones, has shown great fortitude.
Confused as they were initially, unable to understand what the commotion was about, children of the fallen soldiers have begun to come to terms with a life without their fathers.
“They understand that their fathers are not going to come back. Obviously they are sad, but they have learnt to hide their grief and we are all proud of them. They are brave just like their fathers. They are my children now and we will take care of them just like our kids,” said Obaid Al Beloushi, speaking to Gulf News about his nephews, who lost their fathers.
Rashid Mohammad Al Beloushi, 40, and Hamed Mohammad Al Beloushi, 39, were among nine of the 11 siblings who served in the UAE armed forces.
Rashid and Hamed, served in the UAE Air Force for almost 25 years and they died in an attack by Al Houthi militia on a UAE army base that left more than 50 soldiers dead.
It has been a month since that incident, and the family has settled back to the usual routine of their lives in a small village. However, according to Obaid there is something that has changed.
“We know we all have to go back to our Creator Allah and we pray for Allah’s mercy on our brothers. We have come to terms with the losses now, but, I feel something is amiss, something has changed in the way the children behave and play now. I feel they have suddenly grown up, particularly the elder ones,” said Obaid, who also serves in the UAE Armed Forces.
Rashid’s eldest son Mousa is 12 years old and he has already decided his future.
Running out of their family home he met the Gulf News team like a grown up. He along with his brothers and cousins were eager to express their feelings.
“I want to join the army like my father and fight the enemies of my country and die a martyr like my father,” said Mousa, with a smile on his face.
His siblings and cousins repeat his words, expressing their desire to join the army as well.
Eldest among Hamed’s children is Sultan, 10, and he is no less keen to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I miss father, especially playing with him when he came home. But I am proud of him and I want to join him soon,” said Sultan, words that belie his age.