Mecca, Asharq Al-Awsat-The Family of Major Mubarak al Sawat, from the General Investigation Department in Mecca , is in mourning. The father of eight was killed on Saturday, as he was leaving his house to work, in the al Sharaee neighborhood of the city.
His wife, Misbah al Otaiby, told Asharq Al Awsat, during a visit to her home, the horrible events of that morning. “I said goodbye to Mubarak as usual, on Saturday morning, just as I always do, before he goes to work. I then heard a loud explosion. When I looked out of the window, I saw his car still parked in its place. I called his mobile but he didn’t answer.
Then, our neighbor called and asked with me not to go down to the street because of the exchange of fire. I could also hear my husband pleading with me to remain inside. It was as if he was protecting us, alive or dead.” Al Otaiby, however, didn’t want to listen to anyone. She quickly made her way to her husband’s car and found his body slumped in the middle of the road and stained with blood.
Recalling her life with the Major, al Otaiby, in her 30s, said they’d been together for 19 years. “He proposed to my family in Taif. We then spent 5 years in Riyadh , left for Jeddah, where we lived for a year, and finally, moved to Mecca . My husband had always longed to find work in Mecca . He loved the Great Mosque and wanted to leave nearby.”
Um Imad, named after her eldest son, told Asharq Al Awsat, with tears running down her cheeks, “Our children are suffering and they can’t forget what has happened. They can no longer celebrate their academic success. This house has become a nightmare; I hope we can leave. I wish my daughter’s bone disease would heal. Her father spent all the money earmarked for a new house that he planned to build on medication; doctors have been unable to cure her. “
The widow now faces life alone with her eight kids, the youngest of whom is only four months old. She addressed her husbands’ murderers through Asharq Al Awsat, warning them, “If you can flee human justice, you will never escape God’s revenge”
On our visit, we saw evidence of a humble and religious family, with those who knew the Major remembering him as a very pious man. His body was given the last rites at a mosque in the al Sharaee district in the presence of his family and friends. The Kingdom’s authorities refused to discuss details of the security measures put in place after the murder.