The Moroccan ambassador in Spain is working to ensure deceased MREs and stranded tourists receive proper Islamic burials.
Rabat – The Moroccan ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich, announced that she has coordinated with the Moroccan consulates in Spain to provide appropriate support to 1,700 stranded Moroccans.
In a statement to the Moroccan state-run Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Benyaich said that the consulates have set up a permanent listening cell via landlines, a WhatsApp assistance number, and email, email@example.com.
The embassy receives more than 150 phone calls, 200 interactions on WhatsApp, and twenty emails per day, the ambassador said.
Morocco’s diplomatic representation and the consulate general in Algeciras faced a massive influx of Moroccans residing in Italy and France who became stranded in Spain during attempts to reach Morocco. The crisis unit in Spain had to send 130 Moroccans living in other European countries to the cities of their residence after Morocco closed its borders.
The embassy and the consulates have provided partial or total aid to more than 300 Moroccans stranded on Spanish territory. Benyaich expressed appreciation for the surge of solidarity of many Moroccan associations and volunteers in Spain.
The ambassador also thanked the Spanish authorities for their efforts to manage the crisis, and paid tribute to all the Moroccan nationals in Spain “for the patience and resilience they show in their daily lives.”
“We ask them to continue to be understanding and supportive of this emergency situation for their own interest and that of their loved ones,” Benyaich said.
As repatriating bodies to Morocco is impossible, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is covering the burial charges of low-income Moroccans residing abroad (MREs) and ensuring their burial in Islamic cemeteries or in the squares dedicated for Muslims in municipal cemeteries.
The Moroccan consulates have been coordinating with the Spanish authorities in order to increase the spaces for deceased Moroccans.
Benyaich added that the embassy and general consulates have not received any complaints from grieving families regarding the burial procedures.