1695234265 Nazlat Al Sharif the Egyptian village decimated by floods in

Nazlat Al Sharif, the Egyptian village decimated by floods in Derna, Libya

The Gourouzian family, who lost a 20-year-old son in their home in Nazlat Al-Sharif (Egypt) in September 2023. The Gourouzian family, who lost a 20-year-old son in their home in Nazlat Al-Sharif (Egypt) in September 2023. ALICE MORENO

Death has entered the homes of Nazlat Al-Sharif. In the small farming village in the Nile Valley, mothers wrap themselves in black veils and daughters silently wipe away their tears. The community in Beni Souef governorate, 160 kilometers south of Cairo, has a thousand inhabitants and everyone here has lost a son, a brother, a cousin and a friend. The Gourouzian family lives at the entrance to the village. The two oldest siblings, Ahmad and Sayed, sit on the porch and stare at the corn and sugar cane fields. Her younger brother Mohamed, 20, was found dead in Derna. “May God send him to heaven.” Some families here have lost two or three men,” says Sayed.

He saves a photo of his brother on his cell phone. “It was a few months ago when I visited him in Libya. It is a photo taken in front of the sea, a photo… a memory. » In the photo, a young man is posing smiling on the railing with a view of the Derna cornice, which was still intact at the time. “Exactly an hour before his death, we were chatting live on Facebook. He told me to greet dad, mom and everyone, Sayed remembers. Then he asked me when I would come back to visit him in Libya. I told him “in a month, God willing”… But I will never see him again. »

His brother was swept away by the mudflows that devastated Derna on the night of Monday, September 11th. “I miss him… I miss you, I miss your voice,” says Sayed, addressing the photo of Mohamed. The young man is one of the 75 residents of Nazlat Al-Sharif who died in the Libyan storm, out of a total of 145 Egyptian deaths recorded so far. Their bodies were repatriated to Egypt by plane early last week. Ahmad, the eldest of the siblings, was looking for his brother’s remains at Cairo airport.

Feeling of financial insecurity

“His body was in good condition. I have examined the distinguishing signs point by point. This is my brother, this is my brother… But sometimes the water gave up the bodies after three or four days. Some were transformed, completely broken. The names of all identified victims were written on their bodies, arms or feet. » Mohamed was buried on September 13, along with the other victims from the village whose bodies were identified, during a joint funeral attended by several local officials.

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