Dubai: There were emotional scenes at Dubai Airport in the early hours of Monday as an Indian widow broke into tears after seeing her daughter for the first time since her husband’s death. However they couldn’t make any physical contact because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sabeena Dhalla, whose husband died from coronavirus in Tanzania while she was in London, was reunited with her teenage daughter Hadiya following a Gulf News report. But it will take sometime when they can be together again as Sabeena will be spending two weeks in mandatory quarantine at a Shaikh Zayed Road hotel.
Hadiya, who was alone in her Dubai home all this while, went to the airport to see her mother who reached Dubai from London on an Emirates flight at 12.20am today.
But the grief-stricken duo had to keep a safe distance.
Sabeena’s friend captured the heartbreaking moments in a video. “You are not alone… We will be together always. I love you so much…,” Sabeena is heard saying in the video as she tries to console Hadiya while weeping aloud herself.
“You need to be strong,” her friends and daughter tell Sabeena as she collapses to her knees and bursts into tears. Hadiya however, remains calm as she kneels down too and comforts her inconsolable mother. “Dad loved us very much and we will always stay together… You have to be strong and I promise we will be together very soon. I promise everything will be fine… you need to be strong and we love you dad,” she tells her.
Several government representatives including an officer from the diplomatic counsellor affairs section were present at the airport.
“I was overwhelmed with emotions as I wanted to hug my daughter,” Sabeena told Gulf News later. “I am thankful to the UAE Government, Gulf News and Good Samaritans like Juhi Yasmeen Khan who worked tirelessly to fly me back,” she said from the hotel where she is quarantined.
Sabeena’s husband Inayat Ali Dhalla, a long-time UAE resident, was on a two-day business trip to his home country Tanzania where he contracted coronavirus while stuck in Dar es Salaam due to COVID-19 flight suspension. He was put on a ventilator at Aga Khan Hospital but died on April 24 following a cardiac arrest, according to his son Mujtaba, 23, who lives and works in Tanzania.
Inayat was 47.
When Mujtaba broke the devastating news, Sabeena was with her ailing mum in Leicester in England’s East Midlands region while her daughter Hadiya, 17, was alone in the family’s Al Ghusais apartment in Dubai. Since then Sabeena had been pleading with UAE authorities to help her fly back to Dubai on humanitarian grounds. A Gulf News report on May 3 set things in motion.