Investigation finds no sign of foul play in death of celebrated Injaz Al-Arab founder and sister

Published November 9th, 2015 - 09:01 GMT

Investigators have concluded that there is no suspicion of foul play in the deaths of Soraya and Jumana Salti who fell off the roof of an under-construction building in the Jweideh area on Friday, the Public Security Department (PSD) said Sunday. 

A PSD media centre statement said that a preliminary investigation committee reached that conclusion after examining the evidence and witness testimonies.

Evidence included a letter addressed to their parents, with the handwriting identified as belonging to one of the sisters, the statement said.

The forensic medicine report said the cause of death was severe multiple trauma consistent with the incidence of falling from a great height and crashing onto a solid surface.

No previous injuries unrelated to the cause of death were detected, according to the PSD.

An eyewitness, the guard of a nearby building who reported the incident to the authorities, said he heard the sound of something hitting the ground, and — upon inspecting the area — saw the bodies of the two women.

The witness said he did not see another person in the vicinity or leaving the area in southeast Amman, according to the PSD statement.

Another witness, a woman who resides in an apartment opposite the under-construction building, said she saw a vehicle that stopped near the building, and a woman stepping out hurriedly.

The woman, the witness said according to the PSD, “looked nervous” while entering the under-construction building. She was followed by another woman who was also in a hurry.

The witness added that she did not see anyone else in the area. After a while, she saw PSD personnel and learned that the two women fell, the statement said.

The collected evidence, witness statements, and the crime lab and forensic reports will be referred to the south Amman prosecutor general, who will follow through with the necessary legal measures in the case, the PSD statement said.       

Aged 45 and 37, the Saltis, who have Jordanian and US nationalities, were successful businesswomen and from a prominent Jordanian family. 

As the founder and former CEO of Injaz Al Arab, Soraya was a highly respected and celebrated social entreprenuer. She was named among Arabian Business’ Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in 2013 and received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for Injaz in 2009.

Injaz is a non-profit that focuses on youth education for employment in the Arab World. The organization works in 14 countries and over 2 million students have participated in the organization's programs.

Jumana, who used to play for the national basketball team, was a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UAE. 

The US embassy in Amman on Sunday mourned their death, describing them as “important members of the Jordanian and American communities”. 

“We are in touch with Soraya and Jumana’s family, and our sympathy is with the Salti family at this difficult time.  We are cooperating with the Jordanian police’s full investigation of this matter,” a spokesperson from the embassy said in a statement.

Over the past two days, friends and acquaintances of the sisters expressed shock over the news and paid tribute to their achievements.

“Soraya was one of the kindest and most soft-hearted [people] I have ever worked with. A true angel, a hard worker and sincere... I wrote her the longest recommendation letter in my entire professional life. She used to help everyone. Her absence is unbearable. May she rest in peace,” Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Deputy Chief Commissioner Yusuf Mansur wrote on his Facebook page.

Former deputy prime minister Marwan Muasher also mourned the death of the sisters, saying they were “an example of vitality, love of life and enthusiasm”.

“I was the basketball coach of Jumana when she was eight. I pray to God to give their parents patience and fortitude,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Former ICT minister Marwan Juma said Soraya was “vibrant, inspiring, positive, energetic and full of life”.

In a Facebook post, he wrote: “… This is how Soraya should be remembered and how her memory should be honoured! May yours and Jumana’s beautiful souls rest in eternal peace!”

Editor's note: This story has been modified from the original source material


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