Tributes paid to tragic Newport Saudi crash family
9:50am Tuesday 12th February 2013 in News
VICTIMS: Clockwise from top left Shaukat Hayat, his wife Abida, daughter Saira Zenub Hayat and eldest son Mohammed Isshaq and his wife Bilques Haya, centre
POLITICIANS have spoken of the well-respected family’s passion for politics.
Newport West MP Paul Flynn said the Hayat family had been an important part of the Newport Labour Party for 40 years.
He said: “The Hayat family are a greatly respected family who have served Newport splendidly by providing a large number of professionals who work in the community.
“The head of the family came here after serving the British Army for a number of years and was a prisoner of war in the Second World War.
“It’s so unbelievable that something like this can happen.
They were a model family in a number of ways.”
Cllr Ibrahim Hayat, the brother of Shaukat who was among those killed, called his Pill colleague, Cllr Ron Jones, on Saturday morning to inform him of the tragedy.
Cllr Jones said Ibrahim was in Dubai for several days when he heard about the crash and immediately flew to Saudi Arabia to be with the rest of the family.
Cllr Jones said his thoughts were with them.
“I know the family very well. It is a tremendous shock, the boys of the family helped me deliver leaflets when it was election time,” he said.
“They are a nice family, highly respected and we are good friends.”
AM for Newport East John Griffiths said Shaukat was, like his councillor brother, Ibrahim, passionate about supporting him in his political work. He said: “The Labour Party has close associations with Ibrahim as a councillor, his sister and brother Shaukat have come to my home on more than one occasion.
“They have been very supportive of my election efforts and campaigns.
“They are a very well-respected family in the Muslim community and wider in Newport. They play very important roles in the community.
“I think it’s just an awful tragedy, to lose five members of a family in that way. My heart goes out to them at this terribly sad time.”
Gwent AM Mohammad Asghar said: “I am shocked and saddened to hear of this tragic event and I send my sincere condolences to the Hayat family.”
MP for Newport East Jessica Morden, said: “This is devastating news. The Hayats are well known and a well-liked family in Newport and our hearts go out to them.”
Saira Zenub was described as a “very talented” locum pharmacist by her family, while Mohammed Isshaq was hoping to do a PhD in neuroscience at university.
Ebraheem Junaid, 31, from Birmingham, studied and lived with the young man while he was at Bath University.
“He was a nice chap, family orientated and serious about studying,” he said.
Bilques, who was looking forward to the birth of her baby, was a housewife, like Mrs Hayat.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said consular assistance is being provided to the family.