Tributes for Shahzada and Suleman Dawood after Titanic sub tragedy
Shahzada and Suleman Dawood's family expressed their "profound grief" over their tragic deaths aboard the Titan submersible.
Shahzada, aged 48, and his son Suleman, aged 19, were among five people onboard the sub when it experienced a devastating implosion near the Titanic wreckage.
“Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (We belong to Allah, and to Him we return),” started a statement from Shahzada's parents, Hussain and Kulsum Dawood.
“It is with profound grief that we announce the passing of Shahzada and Suleman Dawood. Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGate's Titan submersible that perished underwater.
“Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning.”
The statement added: “We are truly grateful to all those involved in the rescue operations. Their untiring efforts were a source of strength for us during this time.
The family also extended their “heartfelt condolences” to the families of other passengers on the submersible, adding that the father and son's “final rites in this world will be announced soon.”
Another tribute from the family read: "In this unfathomable tragedy, we try to find solace in the enduring legacy of humility and humanity that they have left behind and find comfort in the belief that they passed on to the next leg of their spiritual journey hand-in-hand, father and son."
The family said that "the relationship between Shahzada and Suleman was a joy to behold," adding, "They were each other's greatest supporters and cherished a shared passion for adventure and exploration of all the world had to offer them."
Dawood and his son were British citizens from a well-known Pakistani business family.
Their company, Dawood Hercules Corp., is one of the biggest corporations in Pakistan, involved in various industries such as energy, petrochemicals, fertilisers, information technology, and food and agriculture.
The Dawoods are believed to have died instantly along with British billionaire Hamish Harding, 58, the sub’s OceanGate boss Stockton Rush, 61, and French Navy veteran Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77.
The deaths sparked increasing criticism towards the owners of the Titan submersible as numerous stories surfaced regarding safety concerns.
The Dawood Foundation, the family’s charitable organisation, posted a photo of Shahzada and Suleman on Friday with the statement: “With heavy hearts and great sadness, we grieve the loss of our Trustee, Shahzada Dawood, and his beloved son Suleman Dawood. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dawood family at this tragic time.”
Suleman’s university released a statement saying it was “shocked and profoundly saddened” by the tragic incident.
“The entire Strathclyde community offers our deepest condolences to the Dawood family and all those affected by this terrible accident,” added the University of Strathclyde.
His former Surrey school, ACS International School Cobham, described the ex-pupil as a “remarkable young man”, saying his “compelling enthusiasm” could fill a room.
The tributes came after the teenager’s aunt, Azmeh Dawood, told NBC News that the teen was “terrified” about going on the trip but decided to join his father to make him happy.
Azmeh mentioned that her brother Shahzada was absolutely obsessed” with the famed shipwreck. She added that her 19-year-old nephew had reservations about boarding the Titan, telling relatives he “wasn’t very up for it” and felt “terrified”.
Image: Dawood Foundation twitter