I still memorize the case number by heart and after a year and a half, I still can’t forget my father’s accident here in Dubai. He was hit by a speeding SUV while crossing a service road where cars should not speed (but this is Dubai). The driver of the car just went on like he only hit an ant, never mind there were plenty of witnessing, never mind the sight of a human body being hurled and landed on the hard pavement.
I pass by the traffic prosecution office where my father’s case lies every day on my way to work and my conscience is bugging me. I needed to find closure despite losing hope the case is going to be picked up again by police after they asked me to fly my father here to testify in court and I answered that it is not possible. He was not fit to fly and knowing how it is here, his visa could expire before we are even called to court.
“2011?” The lady at the front desk asked me.
“Why you didn’t come before?”
I explained that I did and needed to come back again but didn’t because I was pregnant, had a complicated delivery, slow recovery and well, you get the picture. I had a baby, I was busy.
After tinkering the keyboard, she calmly told me, “The case is closed. Khalas (Arabic for “it’s over”).”
In state of anger and shock, I asked what action they have taken on the hit and run driver and she said 2,000 dirhams (US$540) police fine. That’s it. No jail time, no damages paid to us, just to the police. She told me, if I want to contest the decision, I could ask Dubai Court to open a civil case, get a lawyer, etc.
Lately in the news,
A mere FIVE HUNDRED FORTY DOLLARS FINE FOR COMMITTING HIT AND RUN (with witnesses to testify, plate number taken and reported)?
So there goes our closure although it just doesn’t sound right and fair at all.