In Egypt, the “Prayer for the Absentees” of Flight MS804 Still Resonates

Faith and Social Media Provide Comfort to Egyptians Mourning the EgyptAir Tragedy

FILE - In this Friday, May 20, 2016 file photo, The Imam of al Thawrah Mosque, Samir Abdel Bary, gives condolences to Tarek Abu Laban, center, who lost four relatives, all victims of EgyptAir plane crash, following prayers for the dead, at al Thawrah Mosque in Cairo, Egypt. Human remains retrieved from the crash site of EgyptAir Flight 804 suggest there was an explosion on board that may have brought down the aircraft in the east Mediterranean, a senior Egyptian forensics official said on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

When the news arrived that EgyptAir flight MS804 was missing, I was sitting in an ahwa, a small traditional local café, having morning coffee with two of my closest friends in Cairo: Aly Hamza, a law student, and Omar Hossam, a 23-year-old pilot.

Such a scene is familiar to Egyptians. And so was the bad news. This was the third instance of aviation disaster for Egypt in the past year, after the October 2015 explosion that brought down the Russian Metrojet leaving the Sinai and the hijacking of an EgyptAir flight …

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