Passengers and crew of EgyptAir flight 804: Who were they?

Menna Alaa El-Din , Saturday 21 May 2016

Profiles of the passengers and crew of EgyptAir flight 804

Families and loved ones of those aboard EgyptAir flight 804, which is believed to have crashed in the Mediterranean on Thursday, have begun mourning their relatives after debris from the wreckage was found on Friday.

A special prayer was held at mosques around Egypt on Friday to mourn the death of the Egyptian passengers, while EgyptAir announced that a memorial service would be held for their crew on Monday at a prominent mosque in New Cairo.

Relatives of many of the foreign victims of the crash flew into Cairo on Saturday for briefings on the search and retrieval process of the plane and of those lost.

Briefing sessions with EgyptAir officials were held at two hotels near Cairo airport – one with relatives of crew, one with those of passengers.

A source close to the matter who asked to remain anonymous told Ahram Online that the overall atmosphere among relatives over the last two days has been filled with “sadness and desperation.”

“They all had hope that the plane hadn’t crashed, that their beloved ones were waiting to be rescued. This however changed when the families were told human remains were found by the Egyptian military early Friday,” the source said, adding that some family members fainted when the military’s discovery was announced.

Below, Ahram Online takes a look at those who lost their lives in the crash.


Mohammed Saeed Ali Ali Shukair (pilot)

Pilot Mohammed Saeed Ali Ali Shukair

Shukair, 36, had 6,275 hours of flying experience, EgyptAir have said.

One friend said Shukair was a dedicated pilot who had wanted to fly planes from a young age.

AP quoted one childhood friend as saying the pilot’s family were "traumatised especially about the body, whether it will be found or remain missing.”

According to Greece's aviation department, the pilot was in good spirits during the flight, and thanked the controller in Greek as he was being cleared to leave Greek airspace.

Mohamed Mamdouh Assem (co-pilot)

Co-Pilot Mohamed Mamdouh Assem

Like Shukair, Assem had chased the dream of flying since he was young, according to a childhood friend.

Assem’s father is a flight crew employee of EgyptAir. His mother passed away years ago due to cancer after she put all her savings towards sending him to the academy.

“Life always takes the best for itself... God only takes the ones he loves earlier than we think... And you were one of the best I knew. Rest in peace my friend, hope you're in a better place with your mother up above,” Assem’s friend, Ahmed Amin said.

He told Ahram Online that Assem had “a pure heart.”

Assem’s Facebook profile has since been changed to read “Remembering Mohamed Mamdouh Assem”, a Facebook option that is intended to memorialise loved ones following their death.

Mervat Zakaria

Mervat Zakaria

Zakaria was promoted to cabin manager a month ago, after working for EgyptAir for 20 years.

According to media reports, Zakaria gave up an acting career to become a flight attendant. She had a role in the successful melodrama Abu El-Ela El-Beshri.

She leaves behind a daughter.

Samar Ezz El-Din

Samar Ezz El Din

Following the accident, a Facebook post by the 27-year-old flight attendant went viral.

El-Din, a graduate of Ain Shams University, posted a picture on September 2014 that seemed to show a flight attendant in wet clothes striding out of the sea with her suitcase, while behind her the wreckage of a plane is visible.

She was a newlywed who was passionate about aviation, and described by friends as someone who “always had a smile on her face.”

Yara Hany Farag

Yara Hany Farag

The flight attendant was remembered by a friend who spoke to Ahram Online as someone who was “sociable and nice.”

“She lived in Kuwait all her life since she was in kindergarten, then she came to Egypt to joint Misr International University,” the friend said.

Farag was an MIU alumni who graduated from the mass communication faculty.

Mahmoud El-Sayed Mansour

The 35-year-old flight attendant from the governorate of Sharqiya was in touch with his family only moments before the plane boarded in Paris.

His brother Ahmed told Al-Ahram Arabic that Mahmoud always told him to take care of his wife and three young children.

“He’s a martyr who was doing his job,” Mahmoud’s father said.


The Abu Laban family

Osman Abu Laban

Lebanese film director Osman Abu Laban mourned on his Facebook page four members of his family killed in the crash -- his uncle and aunt, and his cousin and his cousin's wife.

Salah Abu Laban, his wife Sahar Koueider, their son Ghassan Abu Laban, and their daughter-in-law Reem Al-Sebaei were all onboard.

A special prayer was held at one of Heliopolis’s mosques to mourn their loss; Cairo-based Osman and other family members attended the ceremony.

Ahmed Helal

Ahmed Helal

The 41-year-old held both French and Egyptian nationalities, and lived in Amiens in France where he worked for Procter and Gamble.

The husband and father was travelling to Cairo for a holiday.

Procter and Gamble spokeswoman Segolene Moreau told AP Helal was someone who was "extremely valued by his employees. He really was exemplary.”

Helal graduated from the American University in Cairo in 1999 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and had previously worked for Procter and Gamble in Egypt.

Mohamed Saleh Zayada

Zayada, a dual Sudanese-French national, was travelling to Sudan to attend the funeral of his mother, who died only days before the crash.

According to his brother, Zayada was due to travel to Sudan to see his sick mother ten days before the accident, but had to postpone his trip due to work.

The 62-year-old scholar, who was married with four children, worked for UNESCO in France.

He last spoke to his family in Sudan while boarding the plane in Paris.

Richard Osman

Richard Osman

The 40-year-old geologist worked for gold mining company Centamin and was heading to Egypt for work.

Osman, originally from Wales but living in Jersey, regularly travelled abroad for work.

His wife had recently given birth to their second child.

“Richard was so happy at the birth of his second daughter, and yet two weeks later he is no longer with us – it’s an absolute tragedy. He was really happy about having the baby and was looking forward to enjoying a lovely family life with his two girls,” Richard’s brother Alastair told The Guardian.

Alastair described his brother as a “ very kind person, loving person, very focused ... lot of people admired him for his strength and values.”

Sahar Khoga

Khoga, a 52-year-old Saudi national, had worked at the kingdom’s Egypt embassy for 13 years.

She was in Paris to follow up on her 22-year-old daughter’s cancer treatment there.

Saudi daily newspaper Okaz said that that Khoga had been joined on the trip by close relatives, including her sister and their sons. However, her relatives had returned home two days before the deadly crash.

The Saudi ambassador to Egypt, Ahmed Abdel Aziz Qattan, said the embassy would be assisting Khoga's son, who is enrolled at a university in Egypt.

Marwa Hamdy

Marwa Hamdy

Canadian media reported that that the IBM executive and mother of three was among those killed in the crash.

Hamdy relocated to Cairo from Canada a couple of years ago.

She was the mother of three boys, all of whom were enrolled at Al-Hayah International Academy in Cairo.

The school mourned Hamdy, describing her as a “devoted and loving mother, who is greatly appreciated by everyone who has had the chance to deal with her.”

Ahmed El-Ashry and Reham Mossad (husband and wife)


The couple had travelled to Paris because 28-year-old Mossad was to receive cancer treatment in the city. Their three children, a boy and two girls, remained with relatives in El-Ashry’s hometown of Mahalla.

According to media reports, when Mossad’s condition began to improve, both parents decided to return to Egypt to see their children.

Their children’s school, Leaders’ College, mourned the death of the young couple.

Youmna Hamdy Shabana and son Ismail

Youmna Hamdy Shabana and son Ismail

Hamdy Shabana and her son were travelling to Paris to attend the wedding of one of Ismail’s friends, her sister Nesreen told Al-Ahram.

“My sister was always smiling and laughing. She never held a grudge against anyone,” she said.

Ismail, the youngest in his household, was due to get married in August.

Abdul-Mohsen El-Muteiri

El-Muteiri, a professor from Kuwait who lived in Paris, was on his way to a three-day conference in Cairo.

He leaves behind two children in France.

“I just hope it wasn’t painful,” his cousin Mishary told the media in Cairo.

Seitchi Mahamat

Seitchi Mahamat

Mahamat, a Chadian national, was a cadet at the French military academy Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan.

He was heading home to Chad via Egypt, to mourn the death of his mother who passed away recently.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mahamat had been finishing his second year as part of Saint-Cyr’s Second Battalion.

Pascal Hess

Pascal Hess

The 51-year-old freelance rock photographer almost missed the flight after losing his passport days before the crash.

However, the French national Hess found his passport and caught the flight to Egypt, intending to stay for a ten-day holiday at a Red Sea resort.

The Bettiche family

Algeria has announced that Algerian national Saoudi Nouha and her family were among the victims of the crash.

Her husband Faycal Bettiche and their children Mohamed and Joumana are also among the victims.

“According to the preliminary information gathered from the French authorities and Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Algerian national Saoudi Nouha, registered with our consulate in Nantes, is among the victims of this tragic accident,” said a Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman.

Joao David e Silva

Silva, a civil engineer, was the only Portuguese national on board. The 62-year-old was en route to Ghana to attend a conference, according to Portuguese media.

Pierre and Quentin Heslouin (father and son)

Pierre Heslouin and Quentin Heslouin

Pierre, 74, and his son Quentin, 41, were heading to Egypt for a holiday.

Pierre, a Paris-based management consultant was known to “get the jobless back to work, and for serving as a local councillor” according to French media quoted by AP.

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