http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/670502 TheStar.com - GTA - Last-minute trip became father's worst nightmare
ROBYN DOOLITTLE/TORONTO STAR
Sanaullah Tarar, centre, says he doesn’t know how he can go on.
July 23, 2009
Naila Yasmin had wanted to make the most of her vacation time.
The mother of four had a two-week break from her job as a supervisor at the Tim Hortons at Merton St. and Mount Pleasant Rd., and thought it was the perfect time for a quick vacation – or two.
So after they returned from Niagara Falls on Thursday night, Yasmin convinced her husband, Sanaullah Tarar, to take the kids on a weekend getaway to the Thousand Islands.
"She always wanted to use her vacation for the kids," said Tarar, a real estate agent, in a brief interview at his Thorncliffe Park home.
They arrived Friday evening at the Best Western Country Squire Resort in Gananoque, but Kinza Kaianad, 14, and Sunaila Kaianad, 11, were up bright and early Saturday morning and convinced their mom to take them swimming in the hotel pool. They wanted to go before it got crowded.
A witness said he saw the two girls playing in the shallow end of the pool around 8:50 a.m. while their mother watched from the deck.
A short while later, all three were found unconscious and face down in the pool. Yasmin, 43, died Sunday, Kinza died Monday and Sunaila died Tuesday at a Kingston hospital.
"They probably didn't even know what a swimming pool was," said a grief stricken Tarar. Friends confirmed the girls didn't know how to swim.
Tarar said he was asleep when the girls slipped out with their mom. His two boys, aged 4 and 7, were with him.
He went into shock when the police came to his room to inform him that his wife and children were on the way to the hospital. "This is a nightmare for me," said Tarar. "Every day it is worse and worse."
The family had moved to Canada from Pakistan seven years ago.
Yasmin found a job at Tim Hortons, in hopes that a dual income would give the children a more comfortable life.
"Sanaullah was in love with his kids and wife and did almost everything they asked," said Amra Munawar, a long-time friend. "He often told me, `Is it possible there are people happier than we are?'"
Both Kinza and Sunaila attended the Islamic school in the local Thorncliffe mosque. Kinza had recently been accepted at the private Islamic Foundation school in Scarborough.
The two daughters had been living in Lahore with Yasmin's parents for a short while, and returned to Toronto last year at Yasmin's insistence. "Naila made them come back because she couldn't live without them," said Munawar.
It was likely that maternal instinct that propelled Yasmin to jump into the pool after her daughters, said Munawar.
But the lack of safety protections at the hotel pool had many in the family's tight-knit community shocked. "How could there be no safety jacket or camera there?" asked a neighbour, who gave his name as Ahmed.
Tarar, however, said he isn't looking for answers, but just for a way to cope with the future. "I don't know how I am going to survive."
The bodies are going to return home to Pakistan on Tuesday for the funerals. A prayer will be held at the Islamic Foundation next week.