Friday 19 January 2018

Those on board doomed Egyptair 804

AP Photo/Amr Nabil
AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Thomas Adamson and Maggie Michael

The 66 people lost aboard EgyptAir Flight 804 included a businessman adored by his colleagues, a language and history scholar, and a mother caring for a daughter with cancer.

A look at the lives of some of the dead:

:: Ahmed Helal was a business executive who directed Procter and Gamble's Amiens manufacturing site. His death sent shock waves through the northern French town.

The 41-year-old French-Egyptian husband and father with the bright smile was a beloved figure at the consumer goods company, which described his disappearance as a "huge loss".

P&R spokeswoman Segolene Moreau said Mr Helal, who was travelling for a holiday, was "extremely valued by his employees. He really was exemplary".

:: Mohammed Saleh Zayada was a 62-year-old Unesco scholar who specialised in translation and history and was one of five brothers.

His 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 that trip because of work. "He wanted to see my mother before she died. He wanted to see her. He felt so bad for missing her," Malek Zayada said.

He added that he spoke to his Sudanese-French brother as he boarded the plane, and Malek was waiting for him at Khartoum airport when he heard that the plane was missing.

:: Frenchman Pierre Heslouin was a 74-year-old management consultant from the Paris suburb of Val-de-Marne.

He was using the trip to spend time with his son, 41-year-old Quentin Heslouin. The family was still mourning the death of Pierre's wife Edith, who died in 2015 after a long illness.

The elder Heslouin leaves behind four other children and nine grandchildren.

:: Sahar 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 Ms 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 and only Ms Khoga and her daughter were left in Paris.

:: Pascal Hess was a freelance music photographer from Evreux in the French region of Normandy who was travelling to Egypt on holiday to see a friend and visit the Red Sea.

Local media reported that the 50-year-old nearly missed out on the trip after he misplaced his passport. He found it after several days of searching.

Friend Didier Roubinoff confirmed that Mr Hess was among those on Flight 804 via Facebook and posted a photo of him with the caption "Adieu, my friend".

A 2010 video on YouTube shows Mr Hess in a black shirt and trademark shades talking about capturing the energy and excitement of local rock concerts with his lens.

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

Childhood friend Sherif al-Metanawi said family and friends are "traumatised, especially about the body, whether it will be found or remain to be missing".

He added: "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."

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

:: Also aboard the flight was a student, who has not been named, training at a French military school who was heading to his family home in Chad to mourn his mother.

:: Another 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," one of them, Madji Samaan, said.

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