Monday 16 September 2019

'We are leaving this world now, goodbye'

Flora Neda at the opening of the inquiry. Photo: Reuters
Flora Neda at the opening of the inquiry. Photo: Reuters

Jemma Crew in London

The final moments of a beloved father, brother and husband whose body was found outside Grenfell Tower were played at the inquiry into the disaster as his family paid tribute.

Mohamed Amied Neda (57), who lived on the top floor of the block, died from injuries consistent with a fall.

His wife, Flora, and son, Farhad, were in hospital in comas after escaping from the west London high-rise during the blaze on June 14.

In a recording played to the room, Mr Neda, also known as Saber, said in the last phone call he made: "Goodbye, we are leaving this world now, goodbye. I hope I haven't disappointed you. Goodbye to all."

In statements read out on behalf of his brother, son and wife, Saber was described as a role model and hero.

His brother, Mohamed Aref Neda, recalled Saber's son phoning his daughter early in the morning and repeatedly saying: "Our flat is on fire and I can't find my dad."

He said: "Losing Saber was like my world came crashing down. I have faced many blows in life, losing many family members, but this was the worst."

He said Saber was "not only my brother but my best friend" and that the pair shared an "unbreakable" bond. He added: "The only thing I know is my brother was a hero. He gave up his life for his family and for others."

Saber fled the Taliban in Afghanistan to find a new home in Britain with his wife and young son, moving into Grenfell Tower in 1999.

The family had lived on the 23rd floor of the tower, his son Farhad said in a statement read out on his behalf, adding that he grew up in a home "full of love and full of laughter".

He was a man of "deep integrity and fairness", Farhad said, adding: "My father and I were a great team together. I felt so close to my dad, he was my best friend and is the man I admire most."

In a statement read on behalf of Saber's widow, Flora Neda, she said: "I miss him so much. It is just so sad my beloved husband will not be there with us for Farhad's wedding."

Irish Independent

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