In the early hours of the morning, six years ago. Laura called herself Noura.
2014/11/16, 12:07:47 AM: Noura: 💗
2014/11/16, 12:10:43 AM: Mubarak Bin Fahad: My baby
2014/11/16, 12:15:42 AM: Noura: My Heart , my Love and my Soul
2014/11/16, 12:16:15 AM: Mubarak Bin Fahad: I miss you
2014/11/16, 12:21:08 AM: Noura: I Love you and I miss you so much. Always everyday every moment…Always
2014/11/16, 12:26:08 AM: Mubarak Bin Fahad: My baby
2014/11/16, 3:43:56 PM: Mubarak Bin Fahad: Yes
In 2007, at the age of twenty-nine Laura left South Africa to embark on her adventure in the Middle East.
She had the courage to follow her dreams and her heart. She risked everything for love, and in the end, she had the courage to take her life the way she did. Her ‘Arabian adventure’ was not easy, it was financially and emotionally challenging, and there were many hardships along the way.
Her journey crisscrossed the desert, taking her to spas and salons in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the Royal House of Bahrain, her Portuguese passport dotted with entry and exit visas. Her last visit to South Africa was in October 2012, and she then left for Kolkata, India, on 1 March 2013. Her journey continued to Qatar, Dubai, Portugal, Cyprus, Portugal, Qatar, Portugal, and on 28 February 2014, she returned to Dubai.
On 21 May, she found employment in Doha, Qatar, but it didn’t work out for her, and for the last time, on 18 October, she returned to Dubai.
Laura was an extremely stubborn young woman and did not like to be controlled, not even as a child. She discovered her freedom and her soul in Dubai. It was more her home than South Africa or Portugal could ever be. She was a Dubai diva. And of course, Mubarak lived there.
Laura first met Mubarak in October or November 2009 but only mentioned him around 2010, not saying much about him apart from telling me he was recently divorced and that he worked in investments for a member of the Abu Dhabi royalty. She was very secretive and wouldn’t tell me his name. I knew that Laura, like most young women, wanted to get married and have a family of her own so I told her that she was wasting her time with him as why would he want to get married again? And he was an Arab. But as usual, Laura didn’t listen to me. She was looking in the wrong place, and until her death, she could not remove her heart from his. He was her life, and her death.
They had their final night together on 13 November 2014, her body forever imprinted on his. He was the last person she spoke to on the day she died, and there are only two people that know what was said and what happened. Laura is dead.
I hated him, and I blamed him for her death, the reaction of a mother who lost her daughter in the worse possible way. The hate and anger have departed. She would not have liked me to hate him. There is no suggestion that Mubarak was responsible for Laura’s death, even though there were times when I thought he was. A mother’s anger, but I am now in a calmer place. Her love for him was obsessive, and she was not strong enough to break free.
I also blamed the government of Dubai, but most of all, I blamed myself.
When she died, I asked her, “How am I supposed to live?” But I was dead anyway.
On her journey in life, she embraced a variety of beliefs, questioning, looking beyond what was written. Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Sufism, and Theosophy, searching to find meaning in a world that made no sense to her, trying to make sense of a world where she didn’t fit, ultimately embracing Islam.
“A journey between Allah and I, which has been hard, trials, sadness, confusion, yet miracles happen after long periods of trials. Allah helps those even when no human does,” she wrote in an email to the Islamic Centre in Dubai.
One of two songs Laura sent to Mubarak on 3 November 2014.
Today, six years later, the sadness intense, I feel that Laura is at peace, and she is safe. No one can hurt her anymore.
Going over what she left behind, over and over again, for six years, my conclusion remains the same. She could not live without Mubarak. Even if she had returned to South Africa, her visit would have been brief, and she would have gone back to Dubai, close to where he lived, and to her final destiny.