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Egypt – End of Life Issues

Overview of Hospices in Egypt

Hospice care in Egypt is still in its infancy, and access to end-of-life care services can be limited. The majority of hospices in Egypt are run by non-profit organizations and provide palliative care to individuals who are nearing the end of their lives. Hospice care in Egypt aims to provide comfort and pain relief to patients and their families, as well as emotional and spiritual support. However, due to the limited availability of hospice care, many Egyptians may not receive the end-of-life care that they need.

One of the most well-known hospices in Egypt is the Dr. Amal Hospice, which is located in Cairo. The hospice provides care to patients with life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer, and also offers counseling and support to their families. Another notable hospice is the Hospice Egypt, located in Alexandria, which provides a range of services, including pain management, emotional support, and spiritual care.

Local Customs and Practices When Someone Dies in Egypt

Egyptian culture has a rich history and tradition when it comes to death and mourning. Islamic traditions heavily influence end-of-life customs in Egypt, and it is customary for family members and friends to come together to mourn the loss of a loved one.

In many parts of Egypt, it is customary for the deceased to be buried within 24 hours of their passing. This is based on Islamic tradition, which emphasizes the importance of a prompt burial. Funeral ceremonies in Egypt often involve prayer, reading from the Quran, and the recitation of religious verses. Women typically mourn together in a separate room from men, and it is common for female family members to wear black clothing during the mourning period.

In some regions of Egypt, it is customary to have a professional mourner or “nabawiyya” present at the funeral. The nabawiyya is a woman who is hired to sing and recite poetry in honor of the deceased.

What to do When Someone Dies in Egypt

When someone dies in Egypt, there are several important steps that must be taken. Here is a numbered list of what to do:

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  1. Notify the authorities: The first step is to notify the local authorities of the death. This includes the police and the civil registry office, which will issue a death certificate. The death certificate is required for many legal and administrative purposes, such as settling the deceased’s estate.

  2. Contact a funeral home: Once the authorities have been notified, the next step is to contact a funeral home to make arrangements for the funeral. It is important to choose a reputable funeral home that is licensed by the government and has experience in handling the funeral arrangements.

  3. Plan the funeral: Funerals in Egypt often involve prayer, reading from the Quran, and the recitation of religious verses. The funeral may be held in a mosque or at a family member’s home. It is important to plan the funeral carefully, including selecting a location, arranging for transportation, and coordinating with the imam or religious leader who will lead the funeral prayers.

  4. Notify family and friends: It is important to notify family and friends of the death as soon as possible. This can be done through phone calls, text messages, or social media.

  5. Attend the funeral: It is customary for family members and friends to attend the funeral to pay their respects to the deceased and offer support to the family.

  6. Complete administrative tasks: After the funeral, there may be a number of administrative tasks that need to be completed, such as notifying banks, insurance companies, and government agencies of the death. It is also important to settle the deceased’s estate, which may involve distributing assets, paying debts, and fulfilling any final wishes or instructions left by the deceased

  7. Observe the mourning period: In Egypt, it is customary for family members to observe a mourning period for 40 days following the death of a loved one. During this time, it is common for family members to refrain from attending social events and to wear black clothing as a symbol of mourning. Women may also cover their heads with a scarf as a sign of respect.

  8. Offer condolences: It is important to offer condolences to the family of the deceased. This can be done by sending flowers or a card, making a donation to a charity in the deceased’s name, or by visiting the family in person.

  9. Seek support: Grieving the loss of a loved one can be a difficult and emotional process. It is important for family members and friends to seek support from each other, as well as from healthcare professionals, counselors, or religious leaders, if needed.

End-of-life care and the customs surrounding death are important aspects of any culture, and Egypt is no exception. While hospice care is still developing in Egypt, there are organizations that provide palliative care services to those in need. Understanding the local customs and practices surrounding death is crucial for those who may find themselves dealing with the loss of a loved one in Egypt. By following the steps outlined above, individuals can ensure that they are taking the appropriate steps to honor the deceased and support their loved ones during a difficult time.