Ismaël Sheikh Rawa is a man who has lost a taste for life. In the space of three months he lost his mother, newborn daughter and wife.
Among the Sheikh Rawa family in Plaine Verte, there is desolation and sadness. Ismaël sits on the edge of his bed, surrounded by his 3 young children who inconsolably look for their mother. The scene is heartbreaking.
In tears, Ismaël tells us the series of misfortunes that fell on his family in the space of 3 months. Ismaël first lost his mother Banon Bibi Roodur, 54, overcome by her disease. Still recovering from his suffering, Ismaël then loses the baby-daughter his wife gave birth to two days earlier.
Since misfortunes never come alone, his wife Shameem falls severely ill soon after. She suffers from heart problems and is admitted to the intensive care unit at the Jeetoo Hospital. After a few days, she returned home but was not completely recovered and had to undergo surgery. Ismaël reveals that in the evening, his wife Shameem could not find sleep and suffered greatly. “The children were very attached to their mother and she was worried about them,” he told us. A few days before her death, Shameem told her husband Ismaël: “Mo chagrin pou quitte mo banne zenfant, guette zotte bien si arrive moi kitchose.”
Shameem has never known a happy life as a mother. Ismael is a trader but does not earn enough to feed his family. It was the grandparents and neighbors who helped the family to eat to their hunger. On a Wednesday, while her wife was in bed, she was struck by a heart attack. The life of Ismaël tilted irremediably this time. Overwhelmed by the grief of seeing his 3 children orphaned by the death of their mother, he cracked on the drama day. In tears, he called Shakeel Anarath, responsible for Al Ihsaan, to take care of the funeral. “Ene sou mo pas ti éna pou faire mayyat mo madame,” he said.
Just like in the case of Ismaël’s mother and daughter, Shakeel Anarath agreed to organize the funeral for free and even offered a meal to the families who came to pay a final tribute to the deceased.
A Distracted Father
Ismaël is a dejected man. He previously used his wife’s pension to feed the children and pay the house rent. Since the death of his wife he no longer knows which door to knock.
“Mo la tête fatigué mo pas conné ki pou faire avec mo la vie comme marchand ambulant népli ena travail. Ena dimoune pe dire moi donne zotte mo banne zenfant. Mais mo pas capave séparé avec zotte,” he revealed. Isabrat, 6, Nayat, 5, and little Shabaa, 4, are still hanging on to their father. “Mo maman fine alle cotte Allah,” tells the little Shabaa in all her innocence.
The mother of Shameem confirms the problems of his son-in-law. “Li bien misère et li pas conné couma pou donne so zenfant mangé et boire. Mo même mo pe vive lors pension mo garçon handicapé mental, mo pas pou capave aide zotte,” she lets us hear. Ismaël relies on the generosity of the brothers and sisters to help him feed his children until he finds a job. Shakeel Anarath, a committed social worker, said he was willing to help the family. Moreover, he is in permanent contact with the family for follow-up. “Au nom d’Allah nous pas capave tourne le dos avec sa banne zenfants là,” he told us.
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The man stays at Plaine Verte. He can be reached on 54211761.