Emirati woman’s act of using ‘abaya’ to save driver on fire earns praise

Al Arabiya

Media reports about the brave and timely action of a young Emirati woman who saved an Indian truck driver who was on fire, by covering the victim with an abaya, have gone viral. The blaze broke out after a collision between two trucks on Martyr’s Road in Ras Al Khaimah emirate. The 22-year-old woman, identified as Jawaher Saif Al Kumaiti, was visiting one of her friends at the Sheikh Khalifa hospital in RAK, when she spotted the man on fire while driving back home.

Jawaher, an Ajman resident and an employee with oil major Adnoc, in her interview with Khaleej Times, confesses that she was at first taken aback when she saw the two trucks on fire following the accident. She also saw a man on fire screaming in pain and fear shouting for help. That is when Jawaher stirred into action. She asked her friend who was in her car to hand over her abaya and also instructed her to stay inside.

She proceeded to the stricken driver, covered him with the abaya and spoke to calm him down, telling him that help was on the way. 

Mute spectators 

In her interview, she also pointed out that curiously, there were other workers at the site, but none of them came forward to help the man, remaining mute spectators. Rescue patrols, ambulance and paramedics soon arrived offering first aid before taking the victim to the hospital. At this point, Jawaher and her friend drove away from there.

“All thanks and praise to Almighty Allah who gave me the power and courage to act and intervene into the situation at the right time and rescue the man's life,” Jawaher says in the interview. 

Praise from police 

Now her selfless and brave rescue act has earned Jawaher praise of RAK police who want to honor her. The police has named the victim as Harkirit Singh. Major Tariq Mohamed Al Sharhan, head of the ambulance and rescue section at the RAK police, told reporters that both the drivers suffered “40 to 50 per cent burns.” Both were first taken to Sheikh Khalifa hospital and then to the Saqr Hospital.

Speaking to Gulf News, Major Al Sharhan said they want to honor the bravery of the “abaya woman”. The officer posted on his Instagram account a video on the accident asking for information to contact the woman. According to him, after helping the driver, “she left the scene quietly.” It was an Emirati man, a witness to the incident, who had reported the incident to RAK Police operation room told officers about the woman's heroic act, according to the police officer.

In hospital, the Indian driver also told police that the woman covered his body using an abaya to put out the flames. On Saturday, Maj. Al Sharhan posted the woman’s picture on his Instagram account hailing her as “The bravest woman in UAE”. 

Meets victim in hospital 

Earlier on Friday, Al Kumaiti, along with her mother and sister, went to Saqr hospital and visited the driver. The hospital staff recounted that when the driver saw her, he cried out: “You’re the woman who saved my life! Thank you for your brave job. Your image did not go from my mind for a moment”.

“I am proud of my daughter and what she did... I always encourage my children to help people if they see anyone is in need of help,” says Al Kumaiti’s mother.