Father killed in Abu Dhabi terrorist attack dreamt of helping son become a doctor

Son tells how family in Pakistan is inconsolable after death of man known lovingly as Abu

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Related: Victims of Abu Dhabi's deadly Houthi attack named

The family of a Pakistani oil tanker driver killed in the terrorist attack in Abu Dhabi last week have told of how he dreamt of seeing his son become a doctor.

Mamoor Khan, a father of eight, was one of three men who lost their lives when Yemen's Houthi militia struck an Adnoc oil storage plant on Monday, January 17.

Six others were injured in the attack.

His wife is inconsolable and needs to be sedated twice a day. Her late husband's funeral was on Friday in Isori village, in north-west Pakistan’s Waziristan region.

Everyone is sad, everyone is troubled, no one is the same from the day that my Abu died
Yasir Ahmed, eldest son of Mamoor Khan, victim of terrorist attack

“My family is in depression. When my mother wakes up, she cries, cries, cries all the time,” Yasir Ahmed, the eldest of Mr Khan’s children, told The National from outside a mosque in Isori village where prayers were being offered for his father.

“I cannot even speak to my mother. When she sees me, she cries. We call the doctor for an injection two times a day to put her to sleep. Everyone is sad in my house, everyone is troubled, no one is the same from the day that my Abu died.”

The children, the youngest being 7, referred to their father as Abu or Baba.

Devoted father worked to provide for family

Khan travelled to the UAE to work in 1999 and returned every year to visit his home country.

The family relied on his income as a tanker driver in Abu Dhabi.

He would stay connected with his loved ones, sending them pictures of his life in the UAE, while they would send him images from back home.

“He had one dream. He would tell everyone, ‘I’m working so that my son becomes a doctor’. He said he would stop working in the UAE as soon as my brother became a doctor,” Mr Ahmed said.

“We have memories and memories of Abu. He wanted all my brothers and sisters to study hard, but his main dream was for my younger brother to be a doctor.”

Their hopes for the future rested on Amir Ahmed, 14, who shared his father’s passion for education and aimed to make it to medical school.

The 49-year-old Pakistani expatriate called home regularly and sometimes sent parcels home as a surprise for his children.

Earlier this month, he sent a package of almonds and cashews with a friend who returned home to Khyber Pakhtunkwa province.

When Yasir Ahmed asked his father to take him to the UAE to work, he remembers always being told it was difficult to be separated from the family.

“He would tell me to stay home. He said, ‘It’s very painful to be far away from your children and family for so long, it’s very difficult'."

The 20-year-old suddenly finds himself as the head of the family with the responsibility of paying bills and caring for his younger siblings.

Mr Ahmed works in construction for a daily wage after dropping out of school and is anxious about caring for a large family.

“I didn't study like the rest. I worry about how I will take care of my family. In a day, I earn 500-600 Pakistani rupees [about $3.26], and one litre of ghee [cooking oil] costs 350 rupees,” he said.

“Now every day I worry – should I take something home for the children or should I save it for the rent.”

As the family grieves for their Abu, they are also anxious about the future.

“My father’s dream is incomplete. How will my brother study further? Education is expensive. My father would send us money. All his money would go in education. He wanted my brother to become something.

“Abu was our only support. We have nothing now.”

The UAE Government and Adnoc have committed to maintaining support for all families who suffered from the attack.

Abu Dhabi blast victims repatriated: in pictures

Updated: January 28, 2022, 6:38 AM