RAS AL KHAIMAH // An Emirati soldier who died on Saturday while serving his country in Yemen was laid to rest under the foothills of the Hajar Mountains bordering Oman.
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, lead mourners and well-wishers who poured into the quiet border town of Al Jeer on Sunday for the funeral of WO Rashid Ali Mohammed Al Duhouri, who was killed while taking part in the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen.
Funeral prayers were held at Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Mosque before his body was laid to rest in the Al Duhouri family cemetery, four kilometres from the Omani border.
The 44-year-old serviceman was a father to three children - Rakan, 9, Haza, 6, and four-year-old Mohammed.
Sultan, the younger brother of the serviceman, said his sibling loved serving in the army.
“He always said he would hope to die while serving his country and he did just that,” the brother said.
The grieving father said his son was close to his heart.
“He was a great son, loving and caring to his family and his town. The sacrifice he made bought honour to his country and to his family,” he said.
Said Al Duhouri, a cousin of Rashid’s, said: “Rashid was an example of true Emirati men, defending their country and helping their brothers in Yemen. His martyrdom is an honour to our family, who would do anything to serve and defend their country.”
A special military ceremony was also held at Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi in the presence of a number of senior armed forces officers, before Al Duhouri’s body was flown to his hometown in northern RAK.
“His father received the news of his martyrdom with great pride and honour, although his children and his brothers were not able to contain their sadness for losing their father and their brother,” said the cousin, a retired officer.
Al Duhouri had been enrolled in the service for more than 20 years, he said.
His uncle, Abdullah Ali Al Duhouri, said the soldier brought pride to his tribe.
“He has served his country with honour, and his martyrdom is the biggest sacrifice one can give for this great country,” the 74-year-old said.
“He was known for his good deeds and his love for his country and his hometown. Everyone in our small town was shocked when we heard the news of his death in Yemen. However, his death was not in vain.”
Ahmad Obaid, 33, came from the neighbouring town of Shaam to pray and pay his respects to the family of the serviceman.
“We heard the news of another hero falling in the line of duty early this morning.
“I came to pay my respects and condolences to his family, and pray for him,” said the Emirati business owner.
Funeral prayers were also held on Saturday for First Corporal Obaid Jowhar Obaid Al Mazroui who died during a routine training exercise in the UAE.
Scores of well-wishers from Kalba and neighbouring towns paid their respects to the family of the serviceman.
Ali Al Mazroui, his youngest brother, said Obaid had joined the Armed Forces after graduating from high school.
“He was 37 years old, a role model to his young brothers. He had one child, Khalid, 10,” he said.
Obaid's brother Mohammed said: "He was the older brother to me and Ali, and two sisters. Our father passed away several years ago," according to Aletihad, The National's Arabic-language sister newspaper.