Local News

Parents: Sons' Deaths Were God's Will

Posted April 8, 2008 3:17 p.m. EDT
Updated April 8, 2008 9:52 p.m. EDT

— Wafa Tamimi decided last Wednesday that it was a good day to take her two boys, Kaled, 9, and Basil, 7, to the library.

The two loved to read, and they had been wanting to go for several days. But it had been raining, and Tamimi did not feel comfortable driving in wet conditions.

"He always tell me, 'Mama, please take us to library. I want to read,'" said the Jordan native, of her eldest son. "The word 'read' is the last word he speak."

At 4:45 p.m., while attempting to cross Spring Forest Road at Falls of Neuse Road, the two boys ran ahead of their mother and sister into traffic and were hit by a sport utility vehicle traveling southbound on Falls of Neuse.

Kaled, a fourth-grader at North Ridge Elementary School, died Wednesday; Basil, a second-grader there, died Thursday.

"It's God's will," said Tamimi, who, along with her husband Ahmad Shalin, is a devout Muslim.

They point to an Arabic self-study safety lesson the boys had just completed before they died. It talked about a boy who was hit by a car because he wasn't crossing at the crosswalk.

Highlighted on a page in the workbook were the words "accept God's will," Shahin said.

"I was astonished to see this. I was shocked," he said. "It gave us a lot of strength.'Accept God's will' (was the) last think he read with his mom."

"(They) prayed just before they left," Tamimi said of the boys on the day they were hit.

What happened along the Raleigh road that day – the family doesn't want to relive. They'd rather remember their children as happy, talented and loving boys who enjoyed learning.

"I miss their smiles and their noise," Shalin said. "At home, when it's quiet, I feel very sad."

Police said the children were traveling against the light, which was green for Falls of Neuse traffic. The SUV's driver, Catherine Mary Biondi, was not charged.

And as they grieve, they want to meet Biondi to let her know how sorry they are for her.

"We really believe this is an act of God and she was just chosen to be the one involved," Shalin said. "So definitely, we have no bad feelings toward her."

"We would like to give our support to her," he continued. "We know she's suffering. We want to pray for her. We ask God to give her the strength and patience and want to know if there's anything we can do to help her through this."