As if photos of Aylan Kurdi lying face down on the shore were not enough to haunt the world, now people has to be haunted with his last resonating words. Tima Kurdi, Aylan’s aunt, told of the unforgettable last words his nephew told his father, Abdullah Kurdi.
Speaking with UK’s The Times, Tima said that Abdullah was holding his sons, Aylan and Ghalib, in his arms when their boat capsized. The waves then kept pushing them down.
Abdullah tried with all his power to push them up above the water to have them breathe. At one point, when he was able to have both sons emerged from underneath the water, Aylan screamed: “Daddy, please don’t die.”
There was pitch darkness and one by one Aylan and Ghalib slipped from their father’s arms. The next day, they were found off the shore of the Greek island of Kos.
Tima also recalled Ghalib’s last conversation with their grandfather the very night they embarked the dangerous journey to their supposed refuge. Speaking with The Associated Press, Tima said Ghalib asked their grandfather to “bring your truck here and take me? I don’t want to go with them to the water.”
During this call, Tima could still hear Aylan laughing in the background. “He never cried, Alan. He always laughed. He doesn’t know how to cry,” Tima told AP.
After the tragedy, Tima could not help but blame herself for their deaths. She was the one who sent her brother money to pay the smugglers and have them on board the boat.
Tima said that she has already spoken with Abdullah by phone after the tragedy. He went back to Kobani to bury his family and he has no more plans of ever going to Canada again.
“He said, ‘I don’t need anything from this world anymore. What I have is gone.’ But my kids, and my wife, it’s a wake-up call for the world. And hopefully they step in and help others,” Tima told AP.
Meanwhile, the paramilitary policeman, who was pictured recovering Aylan’s body, spoke of the moment he saw him lying on the shore. “When I saw the baby on the beach, I approached and said to myself, ‘Dear God, I hope he’s alive,’” Mehmet Ciplak was quoted as sating by The Independent, citing Turkey’s Dogan News Agency.
Ciplak said he did not know that a photograph was being taken. He said he was just doing his job. He had been in the service for 18 years but Aylan’s death had left him “sick at heart.”
“When I found out he was dead, I was crushed deep down inside. It was a terrible sight, it was a terrible loss.”