The 19-year-old who tragically lost his life aboard the Titan submersible, along with his father, had a remarkable ambition—to break the world record for solving a Rubik’s Cube in the depths of the ocean.
According to Christine Dawood, the devastated mother, her son, Sulaiman Dawood, brought his Rubik’s Cube with him, while his father grabbed his camera as they embarked on the ill-fated journey aboard the Titanic-bound sub last Sunday.
In her first interview since the tragic deaths of her son and husband, Christine Dawood revealed to the BBC, “He said, ‘I’m going to solve the Rubik’s Cube 3,700 meters below sea at the Titanic.'”
She also shared that Sulaiman had a remarkable talent for solving the cube puzzle in under 20 seconds and carried it with him wherever he went.
Christine explained that she had initially planned to accompany her husband on the underwater expedition, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their trip was canceled.
When the opportunity arose again to board the OceanGate submersible, she made the difficult decision to let her son go instead. “Then I stepped back and gave them space to set [Sulaiman] up because he really wanted to go,” she recalled.
On Father’s Day, Christine and her 17-year-old daughter, Alina, were on the mothership, the Polar Prince, eagerly witnessing the departure of their beloved husband and son. “I was really happy for them because both of them, they really wanted to do that for a very long time,” Christine expressed.
However, the excitement soon turned into despair when communication with the Titan was lost approximately an hour and 45 minutes after the launch. Christine revealed that she initially couldn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation, but it quickly became apparent that the mission had taken a tragic turn.
The rescue operation soon transformed into a recovery mission, and hope dwindled as time passed. “I think I lost hope when we passed the 96 hours mark,” Christine confessed. It was around this time that she alerted other family members, preparing them for the worst.
Sulaiman and his father, Shahzada Dawood, 48, were among the five passengers who perished when the submersible imploded. The other victims were British billionaire Hamish Harding, 58, former French navy diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 77, and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, 61.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has announced its intention to investigate the incident by examining voice recordings and other data retrieved from the Titan.
Meanwhile, a funeral prayer was held for Shahzada Dawood and Sulaiman on Sunday upon the family’s return to St. John’s.
Shahzada Dawood, as the vice chairman of Engro Corporation, was one of Pakistan’s wealthiest individuals. He played key roles in various organizations, including serving on the Global Advisory Board for Prince Charles’ Charity, Prince’s Trust International, and the board of trustees for the SETI Institute, which focuses on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Christine fondly described her late husband as someone who possessed an infectious sense of childlike excitement. She expressed her determination to continue his legacy and provide a platform for his work, which is important to their daughter as well.
As Christine and Alina navigate their grief, they plan to honor Sulaiman’s memory by learning to solve a Rubik’s Cube themselves. Closure may be elusive for them, as Christine confessed, “I miss them. I really, really miss them.”