Morocco World News
Morocco World News
New York, May 5, 2012
Nearly two weeks ago, the Moroccan community in Los Angeles and San Francisco was moved by the death of one of its members, Mr. Malec Damour. Immediately after they learned of this tragic news, a number of Moroccans collected money to make the necessary arrangements and transfer Malec’s remains to Morocco.
Soon after the burial proceedings were planned and the legal paperwork was completed, the Moroccan community in California, in partnership with American Airlines, transferred the deceased Moroccan Malec to Morocco on April 30th. The arrival of the body in Morocco was due on May 1st.
To the dismay of Malec’s family, the body wasn’t transferred to Casablanca at the expected time. According to Mounir Moujtahid, a family friend in California, he received a call from Morocco, informing him that the body wasn’t found in Morocco.
As the corpse of Malec was supposed to arrive in Casablanca on May 1 at 9:30 pm, his family had hired an ambulance to transfer his remains to his home city, Fez.
In light of the delay of the arrival of Malec’s remains, his family sought information behind this anomaly. Instead of providing a reasonable explanation and apologizing for the inconvenience caused to the family, the RAM employees chose to ignore the family’s requests and grievances.
Left with no other option, this was when Malec’s family contacted Mr. Moujtahid who had helped to arrange the transfer of Malec’s remains to Morocco. Taken aback by this unjustified delay, Mr. Moujtahid contacted American Airlines to inquire about the whereabouts of Malec’s remains and seek an explanation for the delay. In line with their professional standards, American Airline employees were cooperative and pointed out to Moujtahid that the body was transferred to Royal Air Maroc at LHR London Airport in order to be shipped the same day to Casablanca.
Calling the Royal Air Maroc in London to confirm the information, Moujtahid was stunned to learn that Malec’s body did not arrive in London, either. The representative of Royal Air Maroc in London claimed that the body wasn’t reported to have arrived there and suggested that Moujtahid instead contact the American Airline.
As he was left with no other option, Mr. Moujtahid contacted American Airlines whose representative again confirmed that the corpse was delivered to RAM on schedule.
Immediately after he received the confirmation from the American company, he called the RAM representative again threatening to take them to court if they did not provide him with accurate information about the whereabouts of Malec’s remains and the reasons behind the delay in transferring him to Casablanca airport. Then, Mr. Moujtahid was informed by the same representative that the body had indeed arrived in London airport on May 1st.
When Mr. Moujtahid set to inquire more about the company’s negligence, the representative of RAM refused to give any valid explanation and hung up the phone.
After Morocco World News learned of this, it contacted RAM’s office in London to seek their version of the facts. According to the representative, who refused to provide his name, the American Airlines flight was supposed to arrive at 4 pm May 1, for the corpse to then be shipped to Casablanca in a RAM flight at 9 PM. Yet, he blamed the delay of the arrival of the corpse to Casablanca on American Airlines, saying that the delay was caused because of the delay of the AA flight from Dallas to London, which arrived, according to the representative at 6 pm instead of 4 pm. He went on to say that “the procedure for the transfer of a corpse demands that the latter be in the airport 5 hours before departure.”
When he was told that people in the US were blaming RAM for the negligence, he was adamant in rejecting any responsibility on the part of the Moroccan company, putting all the blame on American Airlines.
Yet, according to the flight details as provided by AA, the flight in question arrived in London on May 1 at 7:55 am opposed to 4 pm (as was claimed by the RAM representative) and the remains were delivered to the Moroccan company at 3 pm. The connecting flight from London was scheduled at 6 pm the same day and was due to arrive in Casablanca airport at 9:30 pm.
The remains of Malec arrived eventually in Casablanca on Wednesday May 3, 2 days behind schedule.
For most Moroccans who live in America and who witness the bodies of their compatriots experiencing this notorious negligence, the question remains unanswered: For how long will deceased Moroccan bodies be treated in this inhumane manner bearing in mind that Islam recommends that the bodies of Muslim be treated and buried in the most respectable way possible?
This is not the first time that Moroccans living in the United States have expressed their disgruntlement at what they perceive as a lack of professionalism by RAM personnel, the airline’s low quality in-flight services, as well as the prohibitive cost of their tickets.
To raise awareness about their grievances towards the Moroccan airline, a group of Moroccans created a Facebook page called “Moroccan Americans against Royal Maroc”, where they share their experiences and voice their disgruntlement at the services provided by the company depended upon by Moroccans living in the US.
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