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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Well, Agatha Christie makes a better comparison than that

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As many of us were heading out for a good night’s sleep over this bank holiday weekend, a Dubai princess in a coma has drawn a parallel with Agatha Christie. But some feel a tale of the supernatural would be infinitely stranger.

Alia Al Khorafi, the eighth child of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, may have suffered mental decline, suggested a Channel 4 documentary yesterday, broadcast in Britain to coincide with the bank holiday weekend.

To make matters stranger, Ms Al Khorafi was 29 at the time of her plunge and still fit enough to see the devoted daughter of the ruler of Dubai navigate her way around London in a motorcycle, in May 2010.

Channel 4’s documentary, Sheikha Latifa: Missing in Dubai, was aired in Britain as part of the channel’s season dedicated to female ghost stories.

At the conclusion of the documentary, which was very much in the vein of the best of British ghost stories, presenter Adam Hignett was asked to reveal which tales offered more fiction than fact. His answer, inevitably, was “Miss Latifa”.

Indeed, on this apparent bad day for Elton John, this is a fair point.

But here is the thing: Ms Al Khorafi was well enough to ride the motorcycle through London in May 2010. Why would someone fake a hospital check-up, visit a doctor for a “short” consultation and then jump out of a window in one go? Surely she must have thought she would never fall so far?

We can only speculate on what Miss Al Khorafi is actually like, but from all the stories here, let’s just say that she is not quite your typical Saturday night drunkard. Instead, and if this was a prolonged episode of mental illness, maybe she is like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, capable of unexpected and exacting feats of evasion.

The truth is out there – and we have the channel to show us. If anything, the British television industry is a coven of ghost stories, with so many to choose from. It’s a love fest, for sure, but a friendly one. So, don’t go looking for Ms Al Khorafi in her darghas on the tube!

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