Muslim women and children wear a head scarf or shila to protect their modesty or proclaim their faith, among other things. It is unfortunate, however, when such obligatory wearing of the head piece will lead to the untimely, unwanted and unfortunate death of a 10-year-old girl.
The girl was just outside her house at Al Tawain area in the city of Dibba Al Fujuirah playing with her bike along with her siblings when she was painfully strangled to death after her shila was accidentally wrapped and pulled hard around her neck.
The head scarf of the grade-5 Emirati girl got loose, and part of the shila fell under the wheels of the speeding bike.
Sources who witnessed the accident said the little siblings of the girl screamed for help. They also alerted their father who, in panic, scrambled to his daughter’s side and attempted to release her from the scarf that was choking her. The dad also tried to resuscitate his girl, and administered first aid to her.
Sensing the grim situation of his daughter, the father rushed the girl to the Khalifa Specialty Hospital in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for emergency medical attention, and in the hopes that his daughter’s life will be salvaged.
The girl was admitted to the intensive care unit due to her critical condition. Unfortunately, she was later declared dead and there was nothing more the doctors and medical staff could do to save the poor kid’s life.
It is not clear if there has been an error in the way the child wore the head scarf or the way it was put on her by an adult that could have contributed to the strangling, unfortunate accident. The clarification would have helped others to more safely and securely wear head scarf to ensure that in fulfilling their faith’s “obligations”, women and, especially little girls, do not unnecessarily put their lives at risk.
Some can say, however, that the incident, tragic as it is, is just an isolated case.