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Mourners attend funeral of Juma Al Kaabi, the UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan

RAS AL KHAIMAH // The small mountain town of Al Qour was filled with mourners on Thursday as people went to pay their respects to Juma Al Kaabi, the UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan who died in hospital in France on Wednesday.

The father of five was receiving treatment for wounds suffered in a bomb attack in Kandahar last month. He was laid to rest after funeral prayers at his hometown’s mosque.

The normally quiet town was bustling as people travelled from across RAK and the country to pay their respects.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, sent out tweets mourning Al Kaabi and praising him for being a “humanitarian ambassador”.

“The UAE has lost one of its loyal sons. May Allah have mercy on Juma Al Kaabi and the nation’s martyrs. In death, Al Kaabi and the other martyrs have embodied the noblest notions of generosity and loyalty. Their sacrifice and achievements will endure and will always be a source of pride for us,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed, adding: “Treachery and terrorism shall not dampen our resolve and humanitarian mission to spread peace everywhere.”

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of RAK, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud, Crown Prince of RAK, joined mourners to perform funeral prayers.

Sheikh Saud said Al Kaabi was an ambassador of goodwill. He prayed to Allah to rest the martyr’s soul and grant solace to his family.

Rashid, Al Kaabi’s brother, said Sheikh Mohammed naming of his eldest brother as a humanitarian ambassador was a milestone for his family.

“Sheikh Mohammed honoured us. He visited my brother at the hospital and was worried about his condition. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of condolences from all across the country, it made our plight easier in this sad time,” he said.

Al Kaabi’s cousin said the diplomat was a generous, giving person.

“We last saw him during Eid, where he came by and visited us,” said Naser Al Dahmany. “He sat down with his uncle and the rest of the family. He brought our family a great honour by his good deeds in Afghanistan, his death and sacrifice will always be remembered,” said Mr Al Dahmany.

Being in a wheelchair did not stop Khalifah Al Kaabi from attending funeral prayers and paying his respects to the family.

“I was so sad when I heard the news, he was a person well known in our community for his humanitarian work abroad,” said the Emirati, who lives in Al Qour.

“He brought honour to our town. His death while helping others in Afghanistan well not be forgotten.”

Abdul Fareed Zakaria, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UAE, also visited the mourning majlis with staff from the Afghani embassy and a members of Afghan community to express their condolences to the family.

Emirati aid workers Abdulhamid Sultan Al Hammadi, Abdullah Mohammed Al Kaabi, Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Tunaiji, Ahmed Al Mazroui and Mohammed Ali Zainal Al Bastaki were among 11 people killed when explosives placed under a sofa detonated as Kandahar’s governor was entertaining a UAE delegation at his guesthouse.

After the incident Al Kaabi was flown by military plane to Abu Dhabi for treatment.

He is survived by two sons, 27-year-old Ghudair, and Mohammed aged 14, and three daughters, the eldest is 30 and the youngest just six months old.

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The National