Captain Jawaid Saleem Khan, 62, finally reunited with his daughter Nareman Jawaid after being held hostage.
Captain Jawaid Saleem Khan, 62, finally reunited with his daughter Nareman Jawaid after being held hostage.

Trigger-happy pirates 'found it easy to kill'



DUBAI // The freed captain of the MV Albedo said yesterday that the hardest part of his 21 months as a hostage was calming down the trigger-happy gang of Somali pirates and keeping them from shooting his 22-man crew.

But that, said Jawaid Khan, made him the prime target of their anger and frustration - so much so that at one point he was trussed up with rope and lowered into the sea as pirates sprayed bullets around him.

"I had to show leadership," he said from his home in Karachi, to which he returned on Thursday night. "If I got scared and started crumbling what would happen to the crew?

"I had to always try to calm the pirates down. To negotiate with pirates is the most difficult because all they want is money. They don't understand any other language.

"They have no feeling. They are used to killing and seeing people die. We lived a miserable life."

Mr Khan and seven Pakistani crew were released on Thursday for a Dh4 million ransom raised in a nationwide effort by Pakistani families, businessmen and charity groups.

The pirates have refused to release the remaining 15 sailors - seven Bangladeshis, six Sri Lankans, an Indian and an Iranian - until they get the rest of the Dh10.5m they are demanding.

Meanwhile the extent of the brutality endured by the hostages aboard the Malaysian-flagged vessel since November 2010, when it was captured in the Gulf of Aden after leaving Jebel Ali bound for Kenya.

At one point the pirates shot dead an Indian sailor to raise the pressure on the ship's Iranian owner.

Mr Jawaid is haunted by the young man's death. "He was a new seaman. None of us will ever forget how easy it was for them to kill."

"They then told me, 'The countdown has begun. We will start killing one by one,'" recalled Mr Jawaid.

"I had to convince the pirates that no one would talk to them if they kept killing my men. Their ransom demands were much higher.

"I had to talk to them about being practical. I told them the ship was a second-hand vessel and they cannot ask for so much. They were always suspicious."

The pirates installed rocket launchers on the ship, and carried bazookas and assault rifles. They would open fire just above his head, smashing the glass behind.

The entire crew were often packed into an empty swimming pool and denied food, water and access to the toilet for up to three days.

Sailors were beaten with pipes and gun butts, and locked in containers. The pirates tore at the skin of their palms with pliers.

And all the while, the captain tried to talk them down. "I had to find a solution and keep talking," he said. "There were many difficulties, still I could not think of our problems."

He says it was hard to leave his men, but the pirates gave him little choice, bundling him and two officers into the jungle two months ago.

He insisted on returning to the MV Albedo on the pretext of collecting travel documents when it became clear that the pirates would free only the Pakistani crew.

"I went back to try to boost crew morale," he said. "I told them to choose a leader because the pirates would start negotiating with other nations and families. I said we would help their families."

He is weak from malnutrition. When he got home he was dehydrated, his feet swollen, and he suffered from bouts of vomiting. His family say he now looks far older than his 60 years, and have made him promise never to sail again.

"I want to cry everytime I think about him tied up and shot at," said Nareman, his daughter, who lives in Dubai and travelled home with her father after he stopped in there on his way back to Karachi.

"It's inhuman. And he hasn't even told us everything that happened. I can't be more grateful to God but I will always hurt for what he has been through."

His wife said it was vital for him to talk about the ordeal.

"He should let every single thing out," said Mrs Shahnaz Jawaid, who received many threatening calls from hijackers about the ransom. "But it's not easy to hear how your loved ones suffered."

Now Mr Jawaid plans to contact the families of the remaining captives. He said governments and other organisations must get involved. "It's a bad situation but we have hope."

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

'Cheb Khaled'

Artist: Khaled
Label: Believe
Rating: 4/5

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

360Vuz PROFILE

Date started: January 2017
Founder: Khaled Zaatarah 
Based: Dubai and Los Angeles
Sector: Technology 
Size: 21 employees
Funding: $7 million 
Investors: Shorooq Partners, KBW Ventures, Vision Ventures, Hala Ventures, 500Startups, Plug and Play, Magnus Olsson, Samih Toukan, Jonathan Labin

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Western Region Asia Cup T20 Qualifier

Sun Feb 23 – Thu Feb 27, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the Asia qualifier in Malaysia in August

 

Group A

Bahrain, Maldives, Oman, Qatar

Group B

UAE, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

 

UAE group fixtures

Sunday Feb 23, 9.30am, v Iran

Monday Feb 25, 1pm, v Kuwait

Tuesday Feb 26, 9.30am, v Saudi

 

UAE squad

Ahmed Raza, Rohan Mustafa, Alishan Sharafu, Ansh Tandon, Vriitya Aravind, Junaid Siddique, Waheed Ahmed, Karthik Meiyappan, Basil Hameed, Mohammed Usman, Mohammed Ayaz, Zahoor Khan, Chirag Suri, Sultan Ahmed

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday Stuttgart v Cologne (Kick-off 10.30pm UAE)

Saturday RB Leipzig v Hertha Berlin (5.30pm)

Mainz v Borussia Monchengladbach (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Union Berlin v SC Freiburg (5.30pm)

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (5.30pm)

Sunday Wolfsburg v Arminia (6.30pm)

Werder Bremen v Hoffenheim (9pm)

Bayer Leverkusen v Augsburg (11.30pm)

UNSC Elections 2022-23

Seats open:

  • Two for Africa Group
  • One for Asia-Pacific Group (traditionally Arab state or Tunisia)
  • One for Latin America and Caribbean Group
  • One for Eastern Europe Group

Countries so far running: 

  • UAE
  • Albania 
  • Brazil 
Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
25-MAN SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina, Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins, Semi Ajayi 
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu
Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru, Odion Ighalo, Alexander Iwobi, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze 

On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai, Bryan Idowu, Ikouwem Utin, Mikel Agu, Junior Ajayi, Valentine Ozornwafor

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599

NYBL PROFILE

Company name: Nybl 

Date started: November 2018

Founder: Noor Alnahhas, Michael LeTan, Hafsa Yazdni, Sufyaan Abdul Haseeb, Waleed Rifaat, Mohammed Shono

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Software Technology / Artificial Intelligence

Initial investment: $500,000

Funding round: Series B (raising $5m)

Partners/Incubators: Dubai Future Accelerators Cohort 4, Dubai Future Accelerators Cohort 6, AI Venture Labs Cohort 1, Microsoft Scale-up 

Bharatanatyam

A ancient classical dance from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Intricate footwork and expressions are used to denote spiritual stories and ideas.

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★


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