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Air India Express crash: 65-year-old loses eldest son a month before retiring from Dubai Filed on August 10, 2020 | Last updated on August 10, 2020 at 06.08 am
Air India Express crash, 65-year-old, father, loses, eldest son, month before, retiring, Dubai

(Supplied photo)

An HR professional at a private firm in Dubai, the bereaved father said five members of his family were on the ill-fated plane.

A 65-year-old Indian father, who lost his eldest son in the Air India Express crash on Friday, said he wanted to find him a job before he retired in September.

Saidutty Chevappra, a UAE resident for over four decades, brought his 37-year-old son Shaheer Syed to the country, hoping to see him flourish on the land where he built his own life.

"This country gave me everything. And I was really hoping that before I bid goodbye to this country, my son, who is an IT professional, will find his fortune here. But I cannot believe that he is gone," Chevappra told Khaleej Times over phone from Kerala.

Syed, who is survived by a daughter, was buried on Saturday in the presence of  a few family members.

"I was at the airport to see him off on Friday. He was positive about going back to India and finding a job. I never imagined I would be flying the next day to Kozhikode because of his. This is an unbearable pain and grief for a father," said Chevappra.

An HR professional at a private firm in Dubai, the bereaved father said five members of his family were on the ill-fated plane.

"My wife, Mariyam, my daughter and her two kids survived the crash. But we lost Syed. And I haven't had the courage to tell my wife."

Mariyam is undergoing treatment for head injuries at a local hospital in Kozhikode, Kerala, where the tragedy happened. The Air India Express flight that left Dubai on Friday afternoon crashed at the Karipur airport in Kozhikode, killing 18 people including two pilots. More than a hundred passengers were injured.

Remembering his son fondly, Chevappra said he was a "harmless guy, who was kind to everyone".

"He went to school in the UAE. He was family-oriented and friendly to everyone. It is an irrepearable loss for our family," said the father. 


Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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