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World & Nation

What we know about the people who were on EgyptAir Flight 804

EgyptAir
An EgyptAir Airbus A320 takes off from Vienna International Airport.
(Thomas Ranner / Associated Press)

Some of the identities of the passengers aboard EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed in the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday, have begun to emerge.

The Airbus A320 aircraft  was carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo when it swerved abruptly and plunged thousands of feet before disappearing from radar screens. They included 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security personnel.

Of the passengers, 30 were Egyptians, 15 were from France and two were from Iraq. There were also people from Britain, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria, Kuwait and Canada. No U.S. citizens were listed on the passenger manifest. 

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Two babies and one child were on the flight.

Here are some of their stories.


Mohammed Shoukair

Shoukair, 36, was remembered as a hard-working aviator who sought all his life to be a pilot.

A childhood friend, Sherif al-Metanawi, said that family and friends are “traumatized especially about the body, whether it will be found or remain to be missing.”

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“This is what is ripping our hearts apart, when we think about it. When someone you love so much dies, at least you have a body to bury.”

Al-Metanawi had known Shoukair since they were children in the Giza district of Badrasheen.

The last time the two met was on Saturday, when Shoukair came to attend a funeral. A week earlier, the pair had a large gathering with friends, and al-Metanawi teased his friend about being single, asking whether he was going to get married.

He said that Shoukair’s father started to realize that hope was dwindling Friday during prayers for the dead.

“I told him if we found him, this will be from God. And if we don’t find him, then it is still from God, because then he will be a martyr.”

Shoukair was the youngest of three children.


Mohamed Mamdouh Assem

Assem, 24, was the copilot on EgyptAir Flight 804. He was engaged to be married, his uncles told CNN.  He had logged 2,101 flight hours.


Mohammed Saleh Zayada

Zayada was a 62-year-old UNESCO scholar who specialized in translation and history and was one of five brothers.

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Zayada’s brother Malek said his older sibling was heading to Sudan through Egypt to visit relatives and to mourn his mother, who died just four days before the crash.

He was supposed to head to Sudan 10 days before the crash but had to postpone because of work. “He wanted to see my mother before she died. He wanted to see her. He felt so bad for missing her,” the brother said.

Malek Zayada said that that his Sudanese-French brother spoke to him while boarding the plane and that he was waiting for him Thursday at the Khartoum airport when he heard that the plane was missing.

“It was a big shock and lots of confusion,” he said, but families still had hope. “Then we were told it crashed when hope vanished,” he said.

Zayada said his brother had a wife and four children in France, with the youngest 10 years old.


Pierre and Quentin Heslouin 

Pierre Heslouin, 75, was an engineer from the Parisian suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne who was very active in community life and worked on an initiative to help the unemployed, according to local media. He and his son, Quentin, had started traveling together more often since the death of Edith Heslouin, Pierre’s wife and Quentin’s mother, in 2015.

Pierre is survived by four children and nine grandchildren, French television broadcaster BFMTV reported.

“He was a very close friend, for dozens of years,” Estelle Debaecker, mayor of Nogent-sur-Marne from 1995 to 2001, told local news site 94.citoyens.com. “I remember his friendship, loyalty, his willingness to get involved, to pass on a sense of family, of public service, of openness to others.”

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Sahar Khoga

Khoga was a Saudi woman who had worked at her country’s embassy in Cairo for 13 years. She was in Paris to follow up on her daughter’s medical treatment there.

According to the Saudi daily newspaper Okaz, the 52-year-old was visiting her daughter Sally, 22, who was battling cancer.

A cousin told the newspaper that Khoga had been accompanied on the trip by relatives, including her sister and their sons. The sister and her sons returned two days before the crash. Only Sahar and her daughter were left in Paris.


Four members of filmmaker Osman Abou Laban’s family

Egyptian filmmaker Osman Abou Laban said on Facebook that four members of his family were on Flight 804: his aunt and uncle, as well as their son and their son’s wife.


Yara Hani Tawfik

Relatives and friends of EgyptAir flight attendant hostess Yara Hani (portrait), who was on Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo when it plunged into the Mediterranean, mourn during a ceremony at a Cairo church.
Relatives and friends of EgyptAir flight attendant hostess Yara Hani (portrait), who was on Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo when it plunged into the Mediterranean, mourn during a ceremony at a Cairo church. (AFP/Getty Images)

Tawfik was a flight attendant for EgyptAir. Hundreds of mourners gathered to remember her at a church in Cairo over the weekend. “I last saw Yara a week ago before boarding a flight,” Nahla Wagih, a fellow EgyptAir flight attendant attending her funeral, told Britain’s Mirror newspaper. “She was a pleasure to work with and a dear friend.”

“She is a sweetheart,” longtime friend Sandy Makram told CNN. "We called her our baby friend because she had this childish spirit. She always wanted to fly. She was so imaginative.”


Khaled Allam

Allam, 40, lived in France with his wife and was traveling to Egypt on vacation, according to local news reports. He was a native of the northern Egyptian governorate of Gharbeya.


Haytham Samir Didah

Didah, 35, lived in France with his Moroccan wife and their daughter, according to family members. He was a native of Gharbeya and had been living in France for almost 10 years.


Samar Ezzeldin

https://twitter.com/fbnewswire/status/733415791744278538

Samar Ezzeldin, a 27-year-old EgyptAir flight attendant, was among the crew members on the flight, Mervat Mounir, a relative, told the Guardian

Ezzeldin had been a flight attendant for the airline for two years and had recently gotten married, the Guardian reported.


Marwa Hamdy

https://twitter.com/TheStarPhoenix/status/733773160554844160

Hamdy, a Canadian citizen who lived in Cairo, was a project manager for IBM Corp. and a mother of three boys, Canadian media reported.

Hamdy was born and raised in Saskatoon and later moved to Cairo, a friend, Haleh Banani, told the National Post.

“She was very intelligent, very well-read, always engaged in intellectual discussions and outspoken,” Banani said. “She was always encouraging her kids, being involved with their activities ... Even though she was a working mom, she had a great relationship with her boys.”

Hamdy’s sons were aged 4, 7 and 11, according to a Facebook post from the Hayah International Academy. 

“Her children’s teachers and Hayah parents who know Marwa personally speak of her dedicated and supportive nature; always there to offer a helping hand with a pure smile,” the school said.

Hamdy was returning to Cairo after visiting family in Paris, Banani told the National Post.


Ahmed Helal

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble confirmed that one of its employees, Ahmed Helal, an Egyptian, was a passenger on the flight.

Helal was the site leader of a Procter & Gamble facility in Amiens, France, and had worked for the company for more than 15 years, according to a company spokesman, Damon D. Jones. Helal joined the company in his native Cairo and had assignments in the United States and Europe, Jones said.

“We are in touch with his family and are offering them our full support during this difficult time,” Jones said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and all the affected families.”


Pascal Hess

Hess, an independent photographer from Evreux in Normandy, France, nearly missed his flight because he couldn’t find his passport -- until one of his neighbors found it in the street, according to French newspaper La Depeche. He was travelling to visit a friend at a resort by the Red Sea, according to the Independent. “My thoughts are with Pascal Hess, a photographer from Evreux, lover of music, rock, sports, and volleyball,” the town’s mayor said on Facebook.


A Kuwaiti man

One Kuwaiti citizen was on board the plane, Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Kuwait News Agency. The statement identified him as Abdulmohsen Al-Muteiri, and provided no further details about him.

The New York Times quoted a man named Masharei Al-Sohaili who said that his uncle, Abdel Mohsen Al-Sohaili, a Kuwaiti economist, was on the flight. He was coming to Cairo for a three-day vacation. “He was happy to come,” Al-Sohaili told the newspaper. “He had his two kids. Both disabled.”


Seitchi Mahamat

Mahamat, a citizen of Chad and a cadet at the French military academy Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan, was travelling to Chad after the death of his mother, the Guardian reported.


Richard Osman

British geologist Richard Osman, left in the picture above, worked for a mining company and traveled frequently, according to British media. a He was a father of two.

“I still can’t take it in,” Osman’s brother, Alastair Osman, told the Metro newspaper. “I got a call from our sister first thing this morning, and I’m still in shock.”

According to the BBC, Osman was the oldest of four children who grew up in Wales after their father, an ear, nose and throat doctor, moved there from his native Egypt. He is believed to have lived in Jersey in the British Channel Islands.

Osman was married with infant daughters, one of whom was born last month, according to Metro.

“Richard was so happy at the birth of his second daughter, and yet two weeks later he is no longer with us,” Alastair Osman told Metro. “It’s an absolute tragedy.”

His brother described him as “a workaholic.”


An entire Algerian family

An Algerian family of four was on the flight, according to the Algeria Press Service: Saoudi Nouha, her husband, Faisal Bettiche, and their two children, Joumana and Mohamed Bettiche. The children were 8 months old and 2 years old, respectively, according to Algerian television broadcaster Ennahar.


An unnamed student from Chad

Also aboard the flight was a student training at a French military school who was heading to his family home in Chad to mourn his mother.

The protocol officer for Chad’s embassy in Paris, Muhammed Allamine, said the man “was going to give condolences to his family.” Allamine said the man, who was not identified, was a student at France’s prestigious Saint-Cyr army academy.


An unnamed Egyptian man who sought medical treatment in France

One passenger was an Egyptian man returning home after medical treatment in France, according to two friends who turned up at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.

“It breaks my heart,” said one friend, Madji Samaan.


This is a developing story that will continue to be updated. 

 

Times staff writers Branson-Potts and Matt Pearce reported from Los Angeles and special correspondent Hassan from Cairo. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 


UPDATES:

2:18 p.m. May 22: This article was updated throughout with new details about the passengers.

11:01 a.m. May 22: This article was updated with details about more passengers.

3:06 p.m. May 20: This article was updated with details about more passengers.

5:08 p.m. This article was updated with information about Samar Ezzeldin. 

This article was originally published at 2:52 p.m. on May 19, 2016.


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