Emirati couple injured in Prague shooting to be airlifted to Munich for more treatment

Husband and wife Ahmed Ibrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali and Rowdah Al Mehrizi are both in a stable condition but remain in intensive care

Rowdah Al Mehrezi and Ahmed Ibrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali were injured when a student opened fire in the Czech capital, killing 14 people, on December 21. Brand Dubai / Umm Al Quwain
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An Emirati couple who were shot by a gunman in Prague are scheduled to be airlifted to Munich for further medical treatment by the end of this week.

Ahmed Ibrahim Obaid Ali Al Ali and his wife Rowdah Al Mehrezi were on holiday in the Czech capital with their two daughters when they were injured in the mass shooting nearly two weeks ago.

They were returning to a nearby hotel when a student opened fire in the city's Charles University campus at about 4pm on December 21, in an incident which left 14 dead and 25 injured.

After Mr Al Ali was shot in the shoulder and collarbone, Ms Al Mehrezi grabbed their daughters, 10-year-old Maryam and eight-year-old Latifa, in a bid to hide out of the gunman's sight.

After leaving the girls in a safe position, she ran back to Mr Al Ali, who was lying on the ground screaming for help. As she was running to him, she was shot twice – with two bullets puncturing her liver, intestine and lungs.

Although doctors initially considered her chances of survival low, Ms Al Mehrezi can now speak. Her and her husband are both in a stable condition but remain in intensive care as they prepare for a transfer to Munich later this week for further treatment.

Mr Al Ali is the director general of Umm Al Quwain municipality and Ms Al Mehrizi is the director of marketing and corporate communication at Dubai's Road and Transport Authority.

“The support we have received from the [UAE] leadership from the moment of this incident is overwhelming,” her elder brother, Khalifa Al Mehrezi, told The National.

The 50-year-old, who flew to be with his 37-year-old sister after the shooting, added: “There are no words to describe our gratitude – from the leadership’s daily calls, to the tremendous support and prayers my family have been receiving from UAE nationals. It's humbling.”

The children, Maryam and Latifa, were flown back to the UAE immediately after the shooting and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been with the wounded couple to offer support.

There are no words to describe our gratitude
Khalifa Al Mehrezi, brother of Rowdah Al Mehrezi

After the attack, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, thanked the Czech Republic for their treatment of the Emirati couple.

He condemned the shooting and wished other injured victims a quick recovery.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, called the couple to check on them and issued directives to authorities to ensure the couple received the best care possible.

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, also called Mr Al Ali to offer support.

The 24-year-old gunman, David Kozak, was a student with no criminal record and no known links to international terrorists or extreme ideologies. His motive for the shooting was unclear.

Police said they “eliminated” the gunman on the day of the attack, which was the worst mass shooting in Czech history.

Kozak was said to have an arsenal of weapons including long-barrel rifles and shotguns.

Updated: January 03, 2024, 6:42 AM