Pink Caravan director among three dead in house fire

Ameera bin Karam, the chairwoman of the Business Women's Council died with her sister, Sama, and their mother in a blaze on Saturday.
Ameera bin Karam was the chairwoman of the Sharjah Business Women Council and director of the Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness group. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National
Ameera bin Karam was the chairwoman of the Sharjah Business Women Council and director of the Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness group. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

SHARJAH // Three women, including the chairwoman of the Sharjah Business Women Council, have died in a house fire.

Ameera bin Karam was also the director of the Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness group. She was 38.

Her sister Sama, 40, and their mother, 57, were killed in the blaze that broke out at their home in Al Qadisiyah. Her brother Khalid, 32, was injured.

The incident was reported to Sharjah Civil Defence at 4.30pm on Saturday. Firefighters were at the scene within five minutes but smoke enveloped the house.

Witnesses said the fire broke out on the ground floor.

Everyone in the house was taken to Al Qassimi Hospital, but the three women were pronounced dead on arrival, reported Aletihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National.

Their brother is in intensive care.

Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, extended her condolences on the death of Ameera and her mother and sister, praying for Allah to bless their souls and grant their family patience and solace.

Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, expressed her grief on Twitter.

“A few hours ago I lost a dear person,” wrote Sheikha Jawaher, wife of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah.

“She [Ameera] was like a daughter to me since she was a little girl and went to school with my daughters. I loved her dearly. We were very close. She helped me with work.”

Nadine Maalouf, 35, a Lebanese American resident of Abu Dhabi, called Ameera a “dear friend and colleague”.

“She was a beautiful soul inside and out and someone who was a driver of women’s empowerment in the UAE,” she said.

“Ameera was a woman who worked tirelessly to make things possible for other women and a woman of her word. She always celebrated the success of other women and she was an advocate of mentoring younger women and being mentored by older women.”

Ms Maalouf and Ameera were colleagues at the Arab Women Awards for the past five years.

“Like many today, I also mourn her loss and I still can’t believe Ameera and Sama are gone,” she said. “May they be resting in peace with their mother.”

Lebanese Mona H, 36, said her interactions with Ameera were limited to a few work-related events but she was “fascinated by her [Ameera’s] confidence, leadership, commitment to the community and everlasting smile”.

She added: “I never got to know Ameera on a deep level. But she was a wonderful soul full of energy and life.

“I am still in shock and can’t believe she has left us. One thing for sure is that her spirit, eagerness and love of life will keep her in our memories forever. May God rest her soul.”

Mariam Al Rumaithi, chairwoman of the Emirates Businesswomen Council, said Ameera was a role model who had enhanced Emirati women’s economic position, state news agency Wam reported.

​Najla Al Midfa, an Emirati who was born in Sharjah, described Ameera as being “larger than life”. She added: “She was a strong leader who was passionate and uncompromising in her work, especially in the area of women empowerment.

“Her absence has left a void but her inspiring legacy and selfless dedication to humanity will always live in our hearts. Those who knew her have lost a true friend who has forever touched our lives.”

Family friend Zizo Kukan called the news devastating.

“They were such a wonderful, cheerful and lovely family and Sama was like a sister to me,” he said from London.

“I am still trying to process this and still thinking that it’s a mistake and it wasn’t them.”

Published: October 23, 2016 04:00 AM


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