Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A Saudi Family Who Lost Their Son in Baghdad Slam Satellite News Channels | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Senedi family set up a condolences hall in Riyadh for their 20-year old son Ayman Saleh Al Senedi. Ayman was a student at Imam Mohamed Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, but had dropped out last month and went to Iraq without informing anyone. his family received a phone call last Tuesday telling them that their son had been killed.

A relative of Ayman’s who spoke with Asharq Al Awsat on the condition of anonymity said that the man who called them did not identify himself, but said he was calling from Baghdad to inform them of Ayman’s death after a shoot out with American forces left twelve Arab and Iraqi fighters dead. He said the call a few minutes and that the caller spoke in an Iraqi dialect. The relative also said Ayman had called his family twice during the period to tell them he was fine.

According to his family, Ayman grew up in a middle class household. His father holds a PhD and his mother managed a school before she retired. He was the second oldest among five brothers and three sisters. His family had received a letter from him before he died in which he addressed his mother saying “ Mom, I hope you are not disappointed in me as I had not gone to Jihad voluntarily but rather in an effort to please my Creator.” In the letter that had been sent after he’s arrival in Iraq, Ayman made clear his strong wish to engage in Jihad and requested the permission of his parents.

Ayman’s relative pointed out that some of what the Arabic news satellite channels air about the wars in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan is one of the main reason’s our youth are misled into supporting “Jihad” there. He said that what started as a belief was quickly turned into an adopted lifestyle; it was impossible trying to convince Ayman not to take part despite numerous conversations with his parents and relatives. He said Ayman was a normal and outgoing person, in addition to his observation of daily prayers and his memorization of the Holy Quran. He denied that he had extremist friends who encouraged him to take up Jihad. He insisted that the news satellite channels are the sole reason behind his decision to go Iraq via Syria. He called on the youth to seek the religious edicts and instructions from reliable Islamic Scholars who will guide them and clarify the multitude of ways with which they could benefit their societies especially since they are still young and have a lot to offer. He finally told Asharq Al Awsat that he wished that all the neighboring countries of Iraq increased their security procedures in order to prevent the entrance of emotional youth to Iraq and reduce their numbers.