JAZAN — The man who saved the “mentally ill” person from setting himself alight near the Holy Kaaba on Monday evening said he felt suspicious when he heard his unintelligible and incoherent utterances.
Gazi Darweesh said he was performing the fourth round of tawaf (circumambulation) of the Kaaba at about 11 p.m. “I heard the man uttering unintelligible words so I kept an eye on him. Suddenly I noticed the man was pouring gasoline on his clothes and trying to set himself alight. I quickly pounced on him and took the bottle away from his hand,” said Darweesh.
He added he began yelling until other pilgrims came in to help him.
“The police came and arrested the man. I panicked and the crowd of people around me stifled me. I fainted and injured my arm. I was taken to the health center near the Grand Mosque. Someone took a video of the whole incident and it went viral,” said Darweesh.
He added he was shocked seeing himself jump onto the man snatching the bottle from him.
“The whole incident was strange. I am honored to have been able to prevent the man from committing suicide. Suicide is a crime that should not be committed anywhere. I was so frightened at that moment. But once it was over and everyone was ok, I was elated,” said Darweesh.
He also said no one imagines himself ever being in the situation he has been.
“To see someone light himself and right in front of the Kaaba. When I saw the man pour gasoline on his body, I did not have time to think. I just sprung up on him and pinned him down,” he said.
Darweesh works for the General Authority for Sports in Jazan.
“I came to Jeddah with a group of co-workers. Once we were in Jeddah, my co-workers planned to go for Umrah but I initially apologized. But later I agreed to go with them. It was definitely an unforgettable experience,” said Darweesh.
Courtesy: Saudi Gazette