Updated 18:19 | Published 18:18
Five died in the fatal crash between Skara and Falköping last week.
On Friday, three of them – Dahir, Abdirahman and Ahmed – were buried at the Muslim cemetery in Falköping.
– Life is fragile. Something like this can happen to anyone, it’s so close, says friend Hassan Hussein.
At lunchtime, just before the Friday prayer, the parking lot outside the mosque a stone’s throw from the railway station in Falköping began to fill up.
– It’s a little different here today. You see, there are a lot of cars, there are people from other cities and countries, says Abdul Haliim Abdi, active in Falköping’s mosque and chairman of the Somali Association in Falköping.
Three of the five men who died in the tragic fatal accident on county road 184 between Skara and Falköping last Monday were to be buried. Their names were Dahir Macalin Aflow, Ahmed Cantoob Hassan and Abdirahman Yusuf Abdi.
They left behind friends, family and relatives in mourning.
– The relatives feel very badly. There are so many affected families, children, siblings… yes, they have had a very difficult time, says Abdul Haliim Abdi.
Dahir Macalin Aflow, Ahmed Cantoob Hassan and Abdirahman Yusuf Abdi rest in Falköping’s Muslim cemetery.
1 / 2Photo: Thomas Johansson
“It hurts so much”
Dahir, Ahmed and Abidrahman were traveling in the car on county road 184 together with two colleagues. They drove together to and from work and the accident occurred when they were on their way home to Falköping last Monday at around 4:30 p.m.
The car collided with a truck and all five passengers in the car died. Since then, grief has weighed heavily on Falköping.
– It is not a big city. Everyone knows everyone and you meet in the mosque and in other contexts. Everyone knew who they were, so it hurts so much, says Hassan Hussein, member of the Islamic association and municipal politician for the Social Democrats.
According to Muslim custom, dead bodies must be buried as soon as possible, preferably within 36 hours. Due to the ongoing police investigation, it has taken significantly longer to bury Dahir, Ahmed and Abdirahman, as their bodies needed to be identified and examined.
– It has been tough for their relatives. You understand, of course, but you know how it feels. So now it’s a relief, it’s over. The bodies are here and we bury.
Former colleague: “Everyone cried”
Hassan Hussein has helped the affected families after the fatal accident. He knew Dahir, Ahmed and Abdirahman well:
– I knew Dahir the best. I have met him since he came to Falköping. Now he was so happy to have his family here and be able to provide for them. That was his life… but then it stopped, says Hassan Hussein.
Mustafa Abdi previously worked at a preschool together with father of five Dahir Macalin Aflow.
– We worked together for many years, so we knew each other very well. When I told the colleagues at the preschool that he was dead, everyone cried, he was a very popular person and all the children liked him, says Mustafa Abdi.
The last time they were seen was a couple of weeks ago:
– We used to talk a lot about jobs, and about what you can work with in Sweden. Because we had been work colleagues, it became a lot like that, says Mustafa.
The week after the fatal crash has been tough for Mustafa. Above all, the first day of work was difficult to handle.
– I couldn’t have slept all night. I went to work later but I told my colleagues that “my friend is dead, so today… today I can’t take as much as usual”, says Mustafa Abdi.
That the three friends and colleagues are no longer in life is noticeable. Not least in the mosque, where they often used to come.
– It’s… it’s so heavy. You don’t believe it yourself, although you read about it in newspapers and hear people talking about it, you don’t believe it, says Hassan Hussein.
500 gathered for prayer
After the prayer, cars drove from the mosque to St. Olof’s cemetery on the outskirts of Falköping. At the Muslim part of the burial ground, around 500 people gathered for the funeral prayer.
The coffins were then carried to the burial grounds. The next of kin put soil on the coffins before they were lowered into the ground.
– Being here at a funeral for one’s friends… it feels like I’m nervous. I’m not happy today, I’m sensitive and I remember that I remember my friends, says Mustafa Abdi.
Many came straight to the ceremony from work. Others had taken time off to attend the funeral.
– Life is fragile. Something like this can happen to anyone, it’s so close, says Hassan Hussein.
“Busy day for relatives”
It took a lot of logistics and planning to get the funeral done at short notice. Many visitors have come from other countries and cities. In addition, a room for gathering afterwards had to be arranged.
– I still think it went well, we had to organize ourselves. Now you have to finish, says Hassan Hussein.
After the ceremony, the mood was collected and subdued. Many went on to gather over food and drink and remember the dead with their relatives.
Three of the dead in the head-on collision were of Somali origin.
1 / 2Photo: Thomas Johansson
– It has been a difficult day for the relatives. Leaving their bodies here and going home, there will be a different feeling from it too, says Abdul Haliim Abdi.
As president of the Somali Association and the Somali Parents Association, Abdul Haliim Abdi has spent much of his time this past week dealing with the aftermath of the accident.
But he has also lost friends. Abdul knew everyone who died in the collision.
– I played football with some of them, and I used to meet Dahir when we picked up and dropped off the children.
Abdul Haliim Abdi concludes:
– We will never forget them. And the sadness will never subside.