King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world

Special King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world
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Wearing traditional Arab robes, the former Prince Charles takes part in a Saudi sword dance known as ardah at the Janadriyah cultural festival near Riyadh in February 2014. (Reuters)
Special King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world
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Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz welcomes Prince Charles in Riyadh on February 10, 2015. (SPA photo)
Special King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world
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Prince Charles and Princess Diana meet King Fahd at Gatwick Airport during the saudi monarch's state visit to England in March 1987. (Getty Images)
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Jordan's King Abdullah II (2nd-R) and his wife Queen Rania (R) receiving Prince Charles and his wife Princess Camilla at al-Husseiniyah Palace in Amman on Nov. 16, 2021. (AFP file photo)
Special King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world
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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C-R) and his wife Intissar Amer (R) welcome Prince Charles (L) and wife Camilla in Cairo on Nov. 18, 2021. (AFP)
Special King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world
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Prince Charles talks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) when they met for dinner at Clarence House in central London on March 7, 2018. (AFP)
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Prince Charles is welcomed at the Al-Jahili Fort in Al-Ain, UAE, by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, then crown prince, on Nov. 7, 2016. (AFP)
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Updated 10 September 2022

King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world

King Charles III: A friend of the Arab world
  • New monarch’s engagement with the Middle East ensures continuity of friendship forged by the late queen
  • As Prince of Wales, Charles showed a lifelong commitment to building bridges between faiths and cultures 

LONDON: In November, the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, embarked on the first overseas tour by any member of the British royal family since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which had brought a temporary halt to such trips two years earlier.

To those familiar with the interests closest to the prince’s heart, the choice of the Middle East as the destination came as no surprise.

Visiting Jordan and Egypt, the prince was honoring his lifelong commitment to the building of bridges between different faiths and cultures, and exercising his fascination with, and love of, a region with which he has always been deeply engaged.

On his visit to Jordan, the prince was keen to express his admiration for the work being done in the country on behalf of refugees, many of whom had been displaced by the war in Syria.

Prince Charles plays with children during his visit to the King Abdullah Park for Syrian Refugees at Ramtha city, north of Amman, on March 13, 2013. (AFP)

He has been particularly concerned with the plight of refugees throughout the region. In January 2020 he was announced as the first UK patron of the International Rescue Committee, the organization working in 40 countries “to help people to survive, recover, and gain control of their futures.”

In Jordan, he met and spoke to some of the 750,000 people being hosted by the country, many of whom rely on support from donor countries, including the UK and Saudi Arabia.

The prince’s sense of the history of the region, which in many cases is linked inextricably with that of his own country, is keen. While in Jordan, he planted a tree to symbolize the UK-Jordanian partnership, and to mark the centenary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan — a product of the allied defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, and which was finally granted independence from the British mandate in 1946.

In Cairo, the prince and the duchess were welcomed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. It was the prince’s second trip to Egypt. He had visited previously in 2006, as part of a tour that also included Saudi Arabia and which had been carried out to promote better understanding and tolerance between religions, and in support of environmental initiatives and the promotion of sustainable job opportunities and training for young people.

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb (C-L), Grand Imam of al-Azhar, receives Prince Charles and his wife Camilla upon their arrival at the mosque in Cairo on Nov.18, 2021. (AFP)

After visiting Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque, the prince underlined his commitment to interfaith harmony in a speech at Al-Azhar University.

He said: “I believe with all my heart, that responsible men and women should work to restore mutual respect between religions, and we must do everything in our power to overcome the mistrust that poisons the lives of many people.”

Similar to his mother, who passed away on Thursday, Charles has always been devoted to ecumenism and the promotion of harmony between faiths.

As King Charles III, he now inherits Queen Elizabeth II’s role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and the title Defender of the Faith — and, like her before him, he has always made clear that he sees this role as being better defined as defender of all faiths.

During a BBC interview in 2015, he said: “It has always seemed to me that, while at the same time being Defender of the Faith, you can also be protector of faiths.

“The Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.”

With more than 3 million Muslims in the UK, Islam is the second-largest religion in the country, and Charles’ interest in the religion is well known.

Prince Charles starts a basketball training match at the Saudi Sports Federation for Special Needs complex on the outskirts of Riyadh on February 10, 2004. (AFP)

In 2015, during a Middle East tour that took him to Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, it emerged that the prince had spent the previous six months learning Arabic with a private tutor, in order to be able to read the Qur’an in its original language, and to be better able to decipher inscriptions in museums and other institutions during his many trips to the region.

A royal aide revealed that the prince was “enormously interested in the region.”

Known for his passion for Islamic history, art, and culture — at the University of Cambridge in the 1960s, the prince read archaeology, anthropology, and history at Trinity College — Charles has always taken a close interest in the heritage of the Middle East.

In particular, he has followed closely and several times has visited the extensive archaeological work taking place in and around AlUla and the ancient Nabataean city of Hegra, inscribed in 2008 as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Prince Charles, accompanied by then Saudi tourism chief Prince Sultan bin Salman, tour the historical town of AlUla in Madinah province on Feb. 11, 2015. (AFP)

On a visit to Saudi Arabia in 2013, he enjoyed a tour of the Wadi Hanifa and watched with great interest a presentation on the Diriyah project, which is transforming the historic Wadi into a destination for global cultural tourism, with the preserved ruins of Diriyah, capital of the First Saudi State and birthplace of Saudi Arabia, at its heart.

Charles is a keen artist, and that interest is reflected on his personal website, — in the throes of being updated to reflect his new standing — on which four watercolors he painted in the Middle East are showcased.

A combination of pictures from Prince Charles's personal website shows his paintings of the Middle East. Clockwise, from top left: Gulf of Aqaba, Jordan (1993); Port of Suez, 1986; overlooking Wadi Arkam, Asir Province, 1999; and Ad Diriyah, KSA, 2001. 

The earliest, dated 1986, is of a ship in Port Suez, Egypt. Two others are landscapes painted in Saudi Arabia — a view of Wadi Arkam in the remote southwest Asir province in 1999, and a study of a historic palace in Diriyah, painted in 2001.

Since his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, Charles has made innumerable visits to countries in the region, formally and informally. Private visits aside, as Prince of Wales Charles made five official visits to Jordan, six to Qatar, seven to both Kuwait and the UAE, and 12 to Saudi Arabia.

It was a tradition that began in 1986 when he embarked on a nine-day tour of the Middle East, during which he visited Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia with his then wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, from whom he would separate in 1992.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana in Jeddah in the late 80s. (Getty Images)

Just how seriously Charles takes his and Britain’s links with the region is underlined by the number of meetings he has had at home and abroad, with members of Middle Eastern royal families — more than 200 in the past decade, including with those of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the UAE.

As Prince of Wales, it was part of Charles’ job to promote the mutual interests of Britain and its allies, and in pursuit of that duty he paid many formal and informal visits to Saudi Arabia, the UK’s most influential ally in the region.

The prince’s role as a bridge between his country and all the nations of the Gulf, in particular, has always been mutually beneficial. For example, the day after a visit to Riyadh in February 2014, during which the prince gamely accepted an invitation to don traditional Arab dress and take part in a sword dance, it was announced that British aerospace company BAE had completed a deal for the sale to the Kingdom of 72 Typhoon fighter jets.

Then-Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall pictured in front of the Sphinx at the Giza Pyramids plateau on the western outskirts of the Egyptian capital on November 18, 2021. (AFP)

As the Prince of Wales, Charles has had many charitable interests, but perhaps none has been as global in its outlook as The Prince’s Foundation, dedicated to “realizing the Prince of Wales’ vision of creating communities for a more sustainable world.”

Focused on education, appreciation of heritage, and the creation of equal opportunities for young people, at home and abroad, the foundation has run satellite programs in more than 20 countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where it operates permanent centers.

In Saudi Arabia, the foundation established a building arts and crafts vocational training program in Jeddah’s old city, Al-Balad, giving students the opportunity to become involved in the Ministry of Culture’s restoration projects in the city.

During the Winter at Tantora festival, held in AlUla from Jan. 10 to March 21, 2020, the foundation staged an exhibition titled “Cosmos, Color and Craft: The Art of the Order of Nature in AlUla,” and ran a series of hands-on workshops in conjunction with the Royal Commission for AlUla.

In the UAE, since 2009 the foundation has been working with the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation to deliver traditional arts workshops in the capital.

On his visit to Egypt last year, the prince met young craftspeople from the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation and The Jameel School. Supported by The Prince’s Foundation, the school teaches young Egyptians classes in traditional Islamic geometry, drawing, color harmony, and arabesque studies.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are greeted by officials and a children's quartet as they arrive to visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt on Nov. 19, 2021. (AFP)

Unsurprisingly, the foundation has attracted donations from many influential friends in the region. As the Prince of Wales, Charles’ bonds with the royal families of the region have always been deeper than the necessary ties demanded by wise diplomacy.

For example, he considered King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia as a personal friend and, after the monarch passed away in January 2015, flew to Riyadh to pay his final respects and express his condolences to his successor, King Salman, in person.

In Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday, the Middle East and its peoples had a lifelong friend, close to its leaders and committed to building and maintaining bridges between faiths and cultures.

In King Charles III, that precious friendship clearly is destined to continue unbroken.



Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye

Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye
Updated 14 sec ago

Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye

Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye

NEW YORK: Former President Donald Trump is renewing attention to his long history of turning a blind eye to bigotry after dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West just days into his third campaign for the White House.
Trump had dinner Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago club with West, who is now known as Ye, as well as Nick Fuentes, a far-right activist who has used his online platform to spew antisemitic and white nationalist rhetoric.
Ye, who says he, too, is running for president in 2024, has made his own series of antisemitic comments in recent weeks, leading to his suspension from social media platforms, his talent agency dropping him and companies like Adidas cutting ties with him. The sportswear manufacturer has also launched an investigation into his conduct.
In a statement from the White House, spokesman Andrew Bates said: “Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America — including at Mar-A-Lago. Holocaust denial is repugnant and dangerous, and it must be forcefully condemned.”
Trump, in a series of statements Friday, said he had “never met and knew nothing about” Fuentes before he arrived with Ye at his club. But Trump also did not acknowledge Fuentes’ long history of racist and antisemitic remarks, nor did he denounce either man’s defamatory statements.
Trump wrote of Ye on his social media platform that “we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’” He added, “Why wouldn’t I agree to meet?”
The former president has a long history of failing to unequivocally condemn hate speech. During his 2016 campaign, Trump waffled when asked to denounce the KKK after he was endorsed by the group’s former leader, saying in a televised interview that he didn’t “know anything about David Duke.” In 2017, in the aftermath of the deadly white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump was widely criticized for saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence. And his rallies frequently feature inflammatory rhetoric from figures like US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who spoke earlier this year at a far-right conference organized by Fuentes.
The latest episode, coming just one week after Trump launched his third run for the Republican nomination, also underscored how loosely controlled access to the former president remained, particularly without a traditional campaign operation in place.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club came under intense scrutiny amid revelations that Trump was storing hundreds of documents with classified markings there — sparking a federal investigation. But the club — and the people it gave access to Trump — had long been a source of consternation among former White House aides.
Mar-a-Lago is not only Trump’s home, but also a private club and event space. Paid members and their guests dine alongside him and often mingle with him; members of the public can book weddings, fundraisers and other events, and Trump often drops by.
Ye first shared details of the dinner in a video he posted to his Twitter account Thursday. Ye said he had traveled to Florida to ask Trump to be his 2024 running mate, and that the meeting had grown heated, with Trump “perturbed” by his request and Ye angered by Trump’s criticism of his estranged wife, Kim Kardashian.
“When Trump started basically screaming at me at the table telling me I was gonna lose. I mean, has that ever worked for anyone in history, telling Ye that I’m going to lose?” Ye asked in the video. “You’re talking to Ye!“
Ye also said Trump was “really impressed with Nick Fuentes,” whom he described as “actually a loyalist” and said he’d asked Trump, “Why when you had the chance did you not free the January 6th-ers?” referring to the defendants who were alleged to have participated in the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump released a series of statements Friday trying to explain the circumstances of the meeting.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about,” Trump said in his first statement released by his campaign.
Not long after, Trump took to his social media network to say that Ye and “three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about” had “unexpectedly showed up” at his club.
“We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport,” he wrote.
Hours later he again posted, saying he had told Ye that he “should definitely not run for President,” and that “any voters you may have should vote for TRUMP.”
“Anyway, we got along great, he expressed no anti-Semitism, & I appreciated all of the nice things he said about me on ‘Tucker Carlson.’” he added. “Why wouldn’t I agree to meet? Also, I didn’t know Nick Fuentes.”
Fuentes, meanwhile, said after the trip that, while he couldn’t rule out that Trump had heard of him, “I don’t think he knew that I was me at the dinner.”
“I didn’t mean for my statements and my whole background to sort of become a public relations problem for the president,” he added on his show.
The meeting drew immediate criticism from Trump critics as well as some supporters, including David Friedman, who served as Trump’s ambassador to Israel.
“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this. Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable,” Friedman wrote in a tweet. “I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong.”
On Saturday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a potential 2024 rival, also denounced antisemitism, without directly referencing the dinner or the president under whom he served.
“Anti-Semitism is a cancer,” Pompeo wrote, adding: “We stand with the Jewish people in the fight against the world’s oldest bigotry.”
Biden, asked about the Trump dinner meeting while vacationing in Nantucket, Massachusetts, replied, “You don’t want to hear what I think.”

UN warns 500,000 more people will need humanitarian aid in South Sudan

UN warns 500,000 more people will need humanitarian aid in South Sudan
Updated 27 November 2022

UN warns 500,000 more people will need humanitarian aid in South Sudan

UN warns 500,000 more people will need humanitarian aid in South Sudan
  • Conditions worsened by violence, public health challenges, climate change

JUBA, South Sudan: Some 9.4 million people in South Sudan will need humanitarian assistance and protection services next year, half a million more than the current number, the UN  has said in a report.

According to the 2023 South Sudan Humanitarian Needs Overview report, more people will face food insecurity in 2023. Currently, nearly a third of 12.4 million people living in South Sudan are facing severe food insecurity.

Humanitarian conditions have been worsened by endemic violence, conflict, access constraints, operational interference, public health challenges and climate change effects such as flooding and drought, the report said.

The need for assistance will be greatest in counties in the Upper Nile and Western Equatoria States that have been facing conflict.

“Something has to change in South Sudan because the number of people in need continues to rise every year and the resources continue to decrease,” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, in a statement. Nyanti appealed to the government to ensure conditions of peace and to foster development in order to reduce the need for humanitarian aid.

Violence continues to plague the country, posing a threat to a peace deal signed in 2018 by former rivals President Salva Kiir and deputy Riek Machar.

Machar has in recent times accused Kiir of violating the peace agreement.

Hundreds of thousands of people were killed and millions displaced in a civil war before the peace deal was signed.

Taiwan president resigns as party leader after election loss

Taiwan president resigns as party leader after election loss
Updated 26 November 2022

Taiwan president resigns as party leader after election loss

Taiwan president resigns as party leader after election loss

TAIPEI: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party following local election losses on Saturday suffered by
her party.

Voters in Taiwan overwhelmingly chose the opposition Nationalist party in several major races across the self-ruled island in an election in which lingering concerns about threats from China took a backseat to more local issues.

Tsai had spoken out many times about “opposing China and defending Taiwan” in the course of campaigning for her party. But the party’s candidate Chen Shih-chung, who lost his battle for mayor of Taipei, only raised the issue of the Communist Party’s threat a few times before he quickly switched back to local issues as there was little interest, experts said.

Tsai offered her resignation on Saturday evening, a tradition after a major loss, in a short speech in which she also thanked supporters.

“I must shoulder all the responsibility,” she said. “Faced with a result like this, there are many areas that we must deeply review.”

While international observers and the ruling party have attempted to link the elections to the long-term existential threat that is Taiwan’s neighbor, many local experts do not think China — which claims the island as its territory to be annexed by force if necessary — has a large role to play this time around.

“The international community has raised the stakes too high. They’ve raised a local election to this international level, and Taiwan’s survival,” said Yeh-lih Wang, a political science professor at National Taiwan University.


While international observers and the ruling party have attempted to link the elections to the long-term existential threat that is Taiwan’s neighbor, many local experts do not think China has a large role to play this time around.

During campaigning, there were few mentions of the large-scale military exercises targeting Taiwan that China held in August in reaction to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.

“So I think if you can’t even raise this issue in Taipei,” Wang said. “You don’t even need to consider it in cities in the south.”

Candidates from the Nationalist party won the mayoral seat in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, as well as in Taoyuan, Taichung and New Taipei city.

Taiwanese were picking their mayors, city council members and other local leaders in all 13 counties and in nine cities. There was also a referendum to lower the voting age from 20 to 18, which was defeated, according to local media.

Chiang Wan-an, the new Taipei mayor, declared victory Saturday night in a large rally. “I will let the world see Taipei’s greatness,” he said.

Not all votes had been formally counted by the time of his speech, but Chiang and the other candidates’ numerical lead allowed them to declare victory.

Kao Hung-an, a candidate in the relatively new Taiwan People’s Party, won the mayoral seat in Hsinchu, a city home to many of Taiwan’s semi-conductor companies.

Campaigns had resolutely focused on the local: air pollution in the central city of Taichung, traffic snarls in Taipei’s tech hub Nangang, and the island’s COVID-19 vaccine purchasing strategies, which had left the island in short supply during an outbreak last year.

The defeat for the ruling DPP may be partly due to how it handled the pandemic.

DR Congo to hold next presidential polls in December 2023

DR Congo to hold next presidential polls in December 2023
Updated 26 November 2022

DR Congo to hold next presidential polls in December 2023

DR Congo to hold next presidential polls in December 2023
  • President Felix Tshisekedi came to power in January 2019, succeeding Joseph Kabila after 18 turbulent years as leader

KINSHASA: The Democratic Republic of Congo will hold its next presidential polls on Dec. 20, 2023, the country’s electoral commission said on Saturday.
The announcement comes as rebels have advanced in the restive east of the African country, displacing tens of thousands of people from their homes.
The electoral commission’s president said “persisting insecurity in some parts of the territory” would be a challenge to holding a “free, democratic and transparent” vote.
In the DRC, the presidential poll is held at the same time as parliamentary, provincial and local elections.
The president-elect would then take office in January 2024.
President Felix Tshisekedi came to power in January 2019, succeeding Joseph Kabila after 18 turbulent years as leader.
It was the country’s first peaceful handover of power.


President Felix Tshisekedi came to power in January 2019, succeeding Joseph Kabila after 18 turbulent years as leader.

He has already announced his intention to run for a second term, despite clashes over the results.
Other possible contenders could include Martin Fayulu, the runner-up in the 2018 presidential polls who claims he was deprived of a victory in the vote.
There has been no immediate announcement from former prime minister, Adolphe Muzito, and the ex-governor of the southern region of Katanga, Moise Katumbi, who are also seen as potential candidates.
Augustin Matata Ponyo, another ex-premier, has said he will run.
Ponyo last year went on trial on charges he embezzled public funds, but the constitutional court ruled it did not have the authority to judge him.
The court’s lineup has however now changed, and has said it could try him.
Tshisekedi’s inauguration ceremony in 2019 capped more than two years of turmoil sparked by Kabila’s refusal to step down when he reached the constitutional limit on his term in office.
The last two presidential elections before that, in 2006 and 2011 — both won by Kabila — were marred by bloodshed and dozens died in a crackdown on protests after he chose to remain in office in 2016. A country the size of continental western Europe, the former Belgian colony lived through two regional wars in 1996-97 and 1998-2003.
The March 23 rebel group took up arms in late 2021 after years of dormancy, claiming the DRC had failed to honour a pledge to integrate its fighters into the army, among other grievances.
After four months of relative calm, the conflict erupted again on Oct. 20 and the rebels made a push towards Goma.
The fighting has dashed relations between the DRC and Rwanda, with Kinshasa accusing its smaller neighbor of backing the M23 — something UN experts and US officials have also said. Kigali denies the charges.
Tshisekedi and Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta met in Angola on Wednesday, agreeing to a cessation of hostilities in eastern DRC from Friday evening.
M23 rebels were to withdraw from “occupied zones,” failing which an East African regional force would intervene.
But the rebels, a largely Congolese Tutsi militia, said on Thursday the ceasefire “doesn’t really concern us,” and called for “direct dialogue” with DRC’s government.
The frontlines seemed quiet on Saturday morning, but residents in the eastern DRC remained sceptical that it would hold.


5-year-old Yusuf Mahmud Nazir dies after UK hospital refuses admittance

5-year-old Yusuf Mahmud Nazir dies after UK hospital refuses admittance
Updated 26 November 2022

5-year-old Yusuf Mahmud Nazir dies after UK hospital refuses admittance

5-year-old Yusuf Mahmud Nazir dies after UK hospital refuses admittance
  • Rotherham General Hospital staff said ‘there are no beds and not enough doctors’
  • Uncle: ‘We begged and begged and begged for help. We couldn’t get it’

LONDON: A family in Britain who “begged and begged” for their nephew to be admitted to hospital have told Sky News the boy would still be alive if they had been listened to.
Five-year-old Yusuf Mahmud Nazir died on Nov. 21 after being refused admittance to Rotherham General Hospital as staff said “there are no beds and not enough doctors,” even though the doctor treating him described it as “the worst case of tonsilitis he had ever seen.”
Nazir first complained of a sore throat on Nov. 13, with his GP prescribing antibiotics, but as his condition worsened his parents took him to the Rotherham emergency department.
Nazir’s uncle Zaheer Ahmed told Sky News that the family waited all night to be seen by a doctor, who after examining the child sent him home despite Nazir struggling to breath, being unable to swallow and clearly in a distressed state.
Paramedics were called to the family home, but with the infection having spread to his lungs, he experienced multiple organ failure leading to a series of cardiac arrests that killed him.
Ahmed told Sky News that Nazir “stopped breathing, he stopped talking, when he was choking, he couldn’t breathe. He was struggling. And it’s led to his life being taken at 5 years old.
“If they would have treated him where we wanted him to be treated, he would be here with us now. He would have been here playing like he was.
“We’ve lost a beautiful child … It’s not his fault. We begged and begged and begged for help. We couldn’t get it. We just did not get the help we wanted, or we needed, or we should have got.”
Senior paediatric consultants have warned of unsustainable pressure on emergency children’s services.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “All children deserve the highest levels of care and we are taking urgent action to ensure no families have to experience these kinds of tragedies.
“Last week we announced up to £8 billion ($9.67 billion) for health and social care in 2024/25 and we’re giving an extra £500 million to speed up hospital discharge and free up beds.”