Thursday, April 26, 2007
Put on your seat belt for God's sake
My sister had a little plan for a nice relaxing weekend. Her husband had just finished his PhD exams and they planned to spend a couple of nights in Port Said in a condo on the beach. They left yesterday in their little Hyndai; Ammar, 6 months, in his car seat, Sumaya, 4 years, right next to him with her seat belt on but she doesn't have a car seat. Forget about safety studies; we are Egyptians and we know what we are doing. If we think that 4 years is old enough not to have a car seat then we are right. Don't talk to me about statistics, it irritates us. We have a saying: don't count lest you lose the baraka (God's blessing). It is a saying that has no foundation or roots in Islam but for some reason, it is kind of a conviction. Anyway, half way through, Eman, my sister, decides to switch seats with Sumaya to feed Ammar. Eman forgets to ask Sumaya to put on the seat belt. Yes what you pictured is right; the four years old girl is in the front passenger's seat without a car seat or a seat belt. Her dad would not remember either because he was busy keeping himself awake but to no avail. In Egypt people don't usually drink and drive but they are fine with driving while sleepy. However, it is worthy noting that my brother in law has a chronic sleep-driving problem. He can't prevent himself from falling asleep on the wheels no matter how much sleep he gets before driving.
I don't need to tell you what happened next. It was just a matter of time before he hit a truck. The baby was safe, thank God. The driver's seat belt saved him and the mother was not hurt because the front seat protected her. But poor little Sumaya had a head trauma and broken glass pieces all over her face. She had a CAT scan which was fine and a 3 hours long plastic surgery for her face. We will only know how bad the scars will be after they take out the stitches.
Pray for little Sumaya and remember to put your seat belts on. Look at her pretty face and ask Allah to give her a speedy and complete recovery.
It is our prophet's (peace be upon him) teachings to take necessary precautions as part of trust in Allah.