While giving a speech, Prof. Nisreen Ismail Al-Banawi, an associate professor at the College of Economics and Administration in King Abdulaziz University (KAU) and a mother of four, stopped and asked everyone to be quiet before collapsing on the stage.
Organizers rushed to help the unconscious professor. Paramedics were called but were unable to do more than carry her to the ambulance. The professor was taken to a nearby hospital where acute bleeding in the brain was diagnosed. Two days later, the professor was pronounced dead after attempts to resuscitate her failed.
The university on Sunday announced the death of Al-Banawi on its Twitter account and extended its condolences to the family of the professor. In a press statement, the university stressed that Al-Banawi had died of natural causes. It also said that university medical staff who attended the incident did everything possible to save her life.
The news of the professor’s death went viral on social media platforms. Columnists and social figures posted comments under the Arabic hashtag #WeAreAllNisreenBanawi.
Some expressed their concerns over safety inside the university campus. Others claimed that the AC system went off before the event started and that might have affected the professor who, they claimed, was suffering from high blood pressure. Some tweets criticized paramedics at the scene while others suggested that the ambulance arrived late.
The university’s official statement said that the concerns expressed on social media were baseless.
Over the past two days, Arab News tried several times to reach KAU spokesman Dr. Shar’I Al-Boqami, but he was not there to respond.