Family remember 'wonderful' young Emirati soldier killed on Yemen mission
Sergeant Ali Al Mesmari came from a proud military family - one of eight brothers and sisters in the armed forces - and was one of the first troops to be deployed in Yemen
An Emirati soldier who was killed in Yemen was remembered as a beloved father from a proud military family, as he was laid to rest on Monday.
Large crowds of mourners gathered at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Fujairah for the funeral of Sergeant Ali Khalifa Hashel Al Mesmari.
The 29-year-old's body was flown to Abu Dhabi from Yemen earlier on Monday after the announcement that he had died during Operation Restoring Hope.
Al Mesmari was a father of two children, Fatima, 4 and Khalifa, 2.
He was among the first soldiers to be deployed in Yemen and served alongside his brother, Naseb Al Mesmari, 25.
“It’s heartbreaking to lose such a loving and caring person, but he brought the family pride and honour in his sacrifice while serving and defending our country, and we are all willing to do the same,” said his cousin Amira Al Mesmari, 33.
“We saw him two weeks ago in a family gathering. He would always insist on attending all the gatherings and enjoyed them.
"We enjoyed his company, his wonderful personality."
Ms Al Mesmari said she received news of his death from Naseb on Sunday.
“Some people were saying that one of the brothers has died in Yemen and we didn’t know which one. Then Naseb called us after a couple of hours to say that he had become a martyr.
“His father has undergone an eye surgery recently so we didn’t know how to tell him. We were afraid that he could suffer problems from his high blood pressure. But my father invited him to the house and told him that Ali died while serving the country.
“He received the news with both pride and grief."
She said her cousin was fit and active.
“Ali used to take care of everyone, and always tell us to be fit and eat healthy food. He used to love going to the gym and always ready for a walk."
Al Mesmari has five brothers and three sisters - and seven of them serve in the military.
His oldest sister, Fatima Al Mesmari, 34, said she cannot shake the feeling that he will return home and knock on her door.
“He used to do funny stuff and always surprise us. He will be missed in each and every moment of our lives and we are proud of him and his sacrifice,” she said.
Updated: February 19, 2018 03:48 PM