THE EDITOR: I write on behalf of older women in Trinidad. I am an older woman already in my seventies. My question is whether older women are being targeted by criminals. The evidence seems to suggest we are. Let me cite a few examples.
About three years ago a grandmother from the Princes Town area was attacked. Fortunately she survived. She believes it was because she pretended to be dead.
In more recent times there were the 80-year-old from the Port of Spain area and the 75-year-old from Chaguanas. They were murdered. And most recently there was Haseena Ali of Freeport. She too was killed at home.
Haseena’s death has left older women feeling very hurt and very angry. And above all we feel a deep sense of despair. Like Haseena, many of us are the first generation of girls in our families to go to high school and beyond. We were taught to be careful in our going-about. But now we are extremely scared.
I appeal to the relevant authorities to help alleviate our feeling of hopelessness and to give us back some semblance of security. Solve this heinous crime against Haseena. And do so quickly. Please do not let her assailants go unpunished. Please do not let her death be in vain. Instead let your swift action serve as a stern warning to others who (God forbid) may be plotting similar schemes.
I knew Haseena. She and Azeam (her late husband) and Wahid (my husband) were among a group of Trinidadian students studying accountancy in London in the early 1970s
Haseena was a wonderful woman. She was a good Muslim woman. The most fitting description of her is to be found in chapter 13 verse 22 of the Holy Quran:
“And those who are steadfast seeking the pleasure of their Lord and keep up prayer and spend of that which we have given them secretly and openly and repel evil with good for such is the happy issue of the abode.”
I cannot think of any better word than “steadfast” to describe Haseena. I am confident she has earned that “abode” promised in verse 22 above. This promise continues in the next verse:
“Gardens of perpetuity which they will enter along with those who do good from among their parents and their spouses and their offspring; and the angels will enter in upon them from every gate.”
I last saw Haseena at a friendship meeting of the National Muslim Women Organisation on August 29 at the Las Lomas Masjid. It was hosted by the women of that jamaat.
Farewell Haseena, my very dear and cherished friend. I will always be thankful to Allah for blessing me with the privilege of knowing you.
SOHAILA OMARDEEN, Gasparillo