Tributes after UAE army recruit, 17, dies
ABU DHABI // An emotional funeral service was held at Baniyas graveyard for a national service recruit who died this week.
The service for 17-year-old Ali Khalil Abdullah Al Hosani, who died after suffering a heart attack on Sunday, was held in Abu Dhabi on Monday evening and was attended by several dignitaries and government officials.
About 500 people including family, friends and relatives, as well as senior army officials, performed funeral prayers after Asr prayers at the graveyard.
Waleed Al Hosani, the recruit’s brother-in-law, said he was “too young and energetic” a person to have died.
“He joined the training this past Saturday and we heard the news of his death on Sunday at 11pm,” he said.
“Initially I did not believe this news, I thought they were joking with me.”
Ali is survived by five brothers and four sisters. Their father died only ten months ago. Ali was their youngest child.
Waleed Al Hosani said that his death was a shock, because the recruit had been doing regular exercise before starting his army training.
“Ali Khalil Abdullah Al Hosani suffered a cardiac arrest,” said the General Command of the Armed Forces, state news agency Wam reported on Monday.
“He was part of the fourth batch of national service cadets serving military training. The fourth intake began late last week.”
Representatives from the Armed Forces expressed their condolences and sympathy to Ali’s family.
They said they prayed for God’s mercy, forgiveness and eternal peace for the deceased, and for his family to have the strength and patience to bear their loss.
Ismael Al Hosani, a neighbour, said that Ali had been a good boy and had just joined army training.
“I lived beside them for many years and never received a complaint from anybody about the family,” he said.
Training for national service takes about nine months and is mandatory for every able-bodied Emirati male between the ages of 18 and 30.
Ali’s death is the second for a cadet.
In September last year, National Service recruit Mohammed Khalid Khalifa Al Raisi died after suffering a heart attack at the Armed Forces residences.
He was taken to hospital by air ambulance but did not recover.
Mohammed was 18 when he died and his family received condolences from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and other officials.
He was buried in Al Yahar graveyard.
The first batch of high-school recruits had begun training on August 31 last year, with the 45-day initial period of military training.
*This story has been amended: it corrects the number of siblings.
Updated: August 31, 2015 04:00 AM