x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Police search for missing Al Ain boy

Ibrahim Hasan Abdul, 14, a British citizen, was last seen on the afternoon of May 10 outside Al Ain Mall, just across the street from his family's home.

Police have launched a search for a schoolboy who has been missing from his Al Ain  home for more than a week.

Ibrahim Hasan Abdul, 14, a British citizen, was last seen on the afternoon of May 10 outside Al Ain Mall, just across the street from his family's home.

Police and mall security guards saw him on security cameras crossing Othman Bin Affan Street and walking towards 106th street at 5.23pm. Ibrahim, who was wearing a brown T-shirt, white shorts, black sports shoes and carrying a red and black England sports backpack, has not been seen since.

"We are very worried, this is unlike my son," said his mother, Fatima Elmi. She last saw her son before she went to work that morning. "It was a normal morning, we had breakfast together, prayed and said goodbye before he got on the school bus," said Mrs Elmi.

Ibrahim returned home from school that afternoon, had lunch with his family, went to the local mosque and returned home again. That was the last time his family saw him.

"I remember there was a storm that afternoon," recalled Mrs Elmi.Ibrahim waited for the storm to pass before leaving with his football bag.

"He usually plays football with the neighbours so when he took his football bag everyone assumed he was going out to play."

Neighbours saw Ibrahim walking towards the mall. That, said Mrs Elmi, was unusual.

"Ibrahim would never go to the mall by himself. He's not like many of the teenagers who likes to spend all their day at the mall."
Sebastian Dsouza, the head of Al Ain mall security said: "His mother and the CID looked at the tapes along with our security guards.

"We finally found the footage showing the boy crossing Othman Bin Affan Street and heading toward 106th street."

There is also concern for Ibrahim's health. "Ibrahim has always been asthmatic and he left his inhaler," said his mother. If he is under any stress his asthma acts up and he needs to have it with him."

Mrs Elmi said that she keeps "thinking I'm dreaming".  and added: "This is very out of character for him, he's not a wild boy at all."

The eldest of six – he has two younger brothers and three younger sisters – Ibrahim, said his mother, was a very responsible boy.

"He was always the one who made sure the home's doors were shut. He was always calling me to pick him and his friends up. How many 14-year-olds do you know that don't get embarrassed by their mothers picking them up?"

Mrs Elmi said that her son ate, slept, and dreamt football. "We moved from London two years ago and he is a big Chelsea fan. He played all the time and dreamt of becoming a professional football player." A ninth-grader at Al Dhafra Private Schools Al Ain, his mother described him as a good student. "English is his favourite subject and he is very good at it."

She hopes someone somewhere has seen or heard from him. "I still have no idea what happened. My son is not the kind to disappear like this, he is a mummy's boy."

tsubaihi@thenational.ae