Since the beginning of the pandemic, funeral insurance, restitution, Muslim etiquette… dedicated funeral directors have increased.
death? He really didn’t think about it. However, for more than two decades, Baba Dramé has respected almost sacred rituals. Every quarter, the 58-year-old worker goes to his former home in Val-d’Oise and entrusts a few euros to an association that intends to fund his funeral. And transported his body back to Mali, his land by plane. “We call it “village fund”, funeral insurance, He said. A year, my family and I will cost me about 50 Euros [femme et enfants]. Our sages established this principle when they arrived in France about 50 years ago. In this way, if something happens to us, the one we love will be quiet. “
It is best to join such an association, because death and burial in the country are expensive and very expensive: between 3,500 and 5,000 euros, or even higher if the burial site is remote. Since the health crisis related to Covid-19, the fund has proven invaluable in supporting many bereaved families. “People who don’t donate or the latest will not be supported”, Baba Dramé warned. Throughout the pandemic, it is difficult for some people to understand. “Many of our compatriots are already facing death, and uninsured families have to raise funds for the funeral. Suddenly, since Covid-19, People have turned to these associations to join them,” Baidy Dramé, chairman of the French High Council of Malian Diasporas, explained.
Country cash register “There are hundreds of people in France”, Assure BaidyDramé. Senegalese, Côte d’Ivoires, Burkina Faso, Gambians… a large part of the African diaspora has this kind of funds. The manager of these funds either signed a contract with the insurance company or paid directly to the director of a Yiguan.
“Among these immigrants, there is a Return, most of them hope to be buried in the country”, Highlighted Ibra Yali, head of the Senegalese Foreign Seminar Follow-up Committee, which leads various development actions between Senegal and its nationals living in France. Hope to rest in the ancestors of Muslims or in the land of Islam.
“Of the African diaspora, 80% are repatriated to the African continent, while 20% are buried in France”According to Christophe Lever’s estimation, he is an agent in the Paris Hall of ceremonies and has worked in West Africa for 20 years. “Once buried in the country, it will always exist. On the Mali side, we did not talk about the lack of space in the Muslim square as we did here., Baba Dramé argued. We will not ask ourselves the question of extending the funeral concession, otherwise it may lead to bone annihilation. Our children need not worry about us. “
In recent months, the deadly wave caused by the Covid-19 epidemic has not spared the African diaspora. There are no exact figures, but there are indicators. According to Islamic rituals, the main participant in the funeral organization, Elamen Group (43 employees, eight French institutions) has so far been able to handle about 20 deaths. “By spring 2020, there will be about 50 requests per day”, Recalling the words of Executive Director Nordine Ghilli: “We cannot respond to all these requests.” Therefore, he saw that throughout the pandemic, small buildings were also opened and closed at the same time. “Every day is like a hot cake, He was still surprised. This trend began to rise in 2018, but Covid accelerated and promoted this trend. When I started working in 1997, there were only two or three people in our industry, and today there are about 300. »
Why does it grow like this? “The curator of traditional fungi has always been dissatisfied with Muslim customers and ignored them.”, Explained Mustapha Ettaouzani, agent director of Orleans Sérénité.Cultural barriers, languages (from Arabic to dialects) and even “Red Tape” There may be many obstacles in the consulate. In addition, the Muslim’s funeral-the mortuary and the last prayer («Salat Janasa»)-Must be strictly observed.
“Obviously, Muslim archives are boring archives for curators of traditional funerals”, Nordine Ghilli asserted. ” Not at all, Answered Christopher Liver. I have always had an imam in charge of rituals between me and the government. There has never been a problem, and I continue to work with them every day. For me, this is a true cultural asset. “
In any case, some people are beginning to get involved in this field in order to“While respecting Muslim principles, bury the dead with dignity”, As pointed out by Ladji Dibatéré. The 30-year-old Franco-Malian has an office in Sarcelles (Val-Vazwaz) and specializes in the transportation of fungi. Since opening in March 2020, his company Ada-Dia has organized about 30 fleets between two continents.
For him, the most important thing in this job is “Responsibility”. When his parents died a few years ago, Ladji Dibatéré (Ladji Dibatéré) “Shock” They saw their coffin dangling from behind when an old van arrived in Bamako. “Five times of puncture, 22 hours drive to reach the village”, He recalled. In order not to witness this kind of scene anymore, he therefore invested in three high-end all-terrain vehicles, which are equipped with refrigerated boxes and tracking systems to keep them in a constant position. He said that before starting, he studied the market and received the ritual training (nearly 3,000 euros) and morgues required by law. “The goal is to further professionalize this sector”,he thinks.
Because as Azzedine Gaci, the principal of the Velenban Mosque (Rhone) said, “Competition is terrible in this environment”. What Nordine Ghilli confirmed: “It has become a business, such as kebabs and halal butchers.” The result is a drastic cut in prices and lower them. “Suddenly, the space for entrepreneurs is reduced, and we need strong economic actors to maintain service quality”, Mustapha Ettaouzani insisted. These experts believe that some people lack professionalism during the pandemic. “In the ordeal of Covid-19, we have seen who is serious », ensure Azzedine Gaci. “Some Muslim funeral directors don’t know anything about them. These new structures control the ceremony but not the service”, Enraged Nordine Ghilli.
During this health crisis, he and others, such as Azzedine Gaci (Azzedine Gaci), saw abuse and fraud, such as excessive bills. “People took advantage of the grief of their families and demanded a compensation of 5,000 euros for transporting the body back to Algeria, but the maximum compensation was 3,000 euros., Related to Nordine Ghilli. Certain agents will go home when it is forbidden or not to show agent prices to the public. ” Facing these wanderings, He called for greater transparency and control over the curators of Muslim funerals, such as measures that can be taken during the pilgrimage to Mecca and Halal.
Baba Dramé is not really worried about these issues. The worker will continue to visit the Malian family every quarter to pay his donations. He just wants to be buried near his parents in his hometown. Take a break after spending thirty years cleaning machines in a factory in Hauts-de-Seine.