The death of young medical student Mohammad al-Karnawi, 24, in a car crash in Romania on Saturday, was the latest in a series of tragedies to hit his family in recent years.
Like a number of Israelis, Mohammed al-Karnawi, from the Bedouin town of Rahat in Israel’s south, went to study medicine at the Grigore T. Popa University in the city of Lasi. The fourth-year student had just finished his exams for the semester and was planning a visit home when he was killed, along with his friend Dia Zabidi, 23, from the town of Lod in central Israel.
“We still haven’t come to terms; there are no words to speak,” said Ali al-Karnawi, Mohammad’s uncle.
Only three months ago, Mohammad’s sister lost three of her children in a fire at her home in Rahat.
Two years before the medical student’s untimely death in Romania, Hebrew media reported, Mohammad’s younger brother Atia drowned in a pool in Eilat while the family was vacationing in the resort city.
Mohammad’s brother Ahmed, who is tasked with returning his brother’s body from Romania, said the deceased medical student “was a good and smart boy who loved his studies. This is really difficult, but it appears, as they say, that this was ordained from above.”
Sufyan al-Karnawi, a relative of the family, described Mohammad as “a pleasant young man, hardworking and diligent.”
“His parents were proud of him,” he continued, “and wanted him to return with a medical certificate, but his fate was sealed and God wanted to take him before that.”
“This is a serious blow to the family,” al-Karnawi said. “There is a lot of pain and grief felt throughout the community because this family has already suffered several recent disasters. This hurts everyone.”
The Israeli consulate in Romania was working to transfer the bodies to Israel for burial.
The circumstances of the crash were being investigated by Romanian authorities.