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Trump offers condolences to families of Saudi students

Dheeb and Jasser drowned in heroic attempt to rescue US children

Image Credit:
Jasser and Dheeb - Okaz
Gulf News

Manama: Saudi social media users have hailed US President Donald Trump for sending a cable of condolences to the families of two Saudi students who drowned in the state of Massachusetts while trying to rescue two American children.

On behalf of the American people, the President expressed his sincere condolences to the families of Saudi students Dheeb Bin Mana Bin Jasser Al Rakah Al Yami, 27, and Jasser Bin Dham Bin Jasser Al Rakah Al Yami, 25, noting their humanitarian efforts and action to save the two children, adding their “noble actions will always be remembered,” Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

“Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to you during this sorrowful time. May you find strength in their inspiring legacy of selfless sacrifice,” Trump was quoted as saying.

“We thank you for the tributes and we do appreciate your positive comments,” several users posted online.

“Even though the condolences were late, they are welcome,” one user posted.

On June 29, Dheeb and Jasser, two cousins, jumped into the Chicopee River in Wilbraham to rescue two small children who were struggling to stay afloat, the Hampden County District Attorney office said.

The children survived and were discharged from hospital in the same evening, but the Saudis drowned.

One body was found later on the night by a dive team while the second body was found three days later near a dam.

According to US reports, the two Saudis were studying engineering. Dheeb attended the University of Hartford in Connecticut and Jasser was at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In early July, the State Department paid tribute to both men: “The United States expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of Dheeb Al Yami and Jasser Al Rakah after their tragic deaths in Massachusetts. The young men drowned while courageously attempting to save children in distress,” the statement said.

“Their heroism represents the very best of the international students who enrich communities across the United States. Dheeb and Jasser were among the 52,000 Saudi students studying in the United States who bring greater international understanding and diverse perspectives to US campuses and communities, and to Saudi Arabia when they return home.”

The universities in which they were enrolled also paid rich tribute to the two Saudis and lauded their action to aid others in need.

In July, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud bestowed on the two students the King Abdul Aziz Order of the First Class.

Receiving their families, he offered them SR1 million each in recognition of the courage and sacrifice of the two students.

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