Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gulf Daily News (Sept.5th,2007)

Lesson for drivers in mother's tribute


Police are out in force with the start of the new school term, to try to cut the number of rush-hour accidents, particularly those involving children. They are also working hard to spread the safety message to all drivers, in a country where congestion and a mass of roadworks has heightened people's impatience.
Sadly, most of them will not listen to the police, for there is a new-found arrogance on the roads here amongst people who think they are more important than the law or the safety of others.
But perhaps even some of the worst offenders might listen to Randah Hamadeh, whose deeply moving poem about the death of her 18-year-old daughter Samar Ahmed Al Ansari appeared in yesterday's GDN.
Samar was killed in a road accident in Bahrain a year ago and her mother's poem puts into words the pain inflicted on her family by her loss.
"There is no pain like a mother's pain,
Who is unable to see her daughter again."
Powerful words from a mother whose child was ripped from her in an accident which happened in just a split second.
That the poem was accompanied by a photograph of a beautiful, smiling Samar gives even greater impact to the message of distress sent out from a mother's heart.
The death rate on Bahrain's roads is appalling and the GDN, along with the country's other newspapers, often carries the headlines and photographs that herald yet another tragedy.
But cold news reports cannot express how those left behind must be feeling at the loss of a father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister - they cannot show the empty chair at the breakfast table, or the void in grieving loved ones' hearts.
Statistics put out by traffic officials may shock us briefly, but in the end they are just numbers, quickly forgotten by those who read them, then get back behind the wheel of their car.
Perhaps the police should ask Samar's mum for permission to reproduce her poem and include it in the pamphlets it uses for its safety campaigns, to remind potentially reckless drivers of the human cost of their arrogance.

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