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Egyptians react to death of Mubarak's grandson

Officials give condolences, call for national mourning

Egyptians mourned the death of President Hosni Mubarak's eldest grandchild Tuesday as thousands of mourners, officials and citizens, attended the funeral at al-Rashdan Mosque in Nasr City in Cairo.

Mohamed Alaa Hosni Mubarak, the eldest of two children of Mubarak's elder son Alaa, died on Monday evening two days after the onset of a "health crisis," the Egyptian presidency said in a statement Tuesday, without elaborating.

Fathi Sorour, president of the People's Assembly, said in a televised message that the cause of death was a heart attack.

Azhar's Mohamed Sayed Tantawi led funeral prayers while Alaa Mubarak, father of the deceased, lead the funerary prayers and his brother, Gamal Mubarak, carried the coffin with the members of the armed forces.

President Mubarak did not attend the funeral.

All state owned national radio stations broadcasted religious songs and Quranic recitation, while television channels aired constant condolences to the president's family.

Ali Gumaa, the state's official mufti – religious leader -- called upon Egyptian women to visibly mourn the death by wearing black.

Political opposition and enmity was put aside as Saad Eddine Ibrahim, head of Ibn Khaldun Center for Research and a staunch critic of Egypt in exile, extended his condolences to the president Tuesday.

Mourning and justice

As state apparatus mourned in unison, Egyptians offered condolences while noting that many other Egyptians whohave died also deserve to be mourned.

"We all belong to Allah and to him we return," said Sameh Alawy, 19. "But I don't see why the focus is so intense on this one death and not on the thousand others that we have seen and witnessed," Alawy told Al Arabiya, referring to the Muqatam landslide catastrophe in Sept. 2008 where more than 5,000 Egyptians died.

Techno-savvy Egyptians exchanged views on the significance of the boy’s death, with many on Twitter, openly criticizing what they saw as the state's attempt to exploit people's emotions to garner sympathy for an unpopular regime.

"They are using the death of a 13-year-old boy to make us feel sorry for the ruling family when all that Egyptians really feel is resentment towards one of the most corrupt regimes we have seen," Abdallah el Shamy wrote on Twitter.

Mubarak is Egypt's longest-serving president since Mohamed Ali Pasha of the 19th century, who has been at the helm for more than a quarter century. In 2005 Mubarak won a fifth six-year term as president. Analyst have since then expected Mubarak to start installing his son Gamal as his successor as the president of the republic of Egypt.

But I don't see why the focus is so intense on this one death and not on the thousand others that we have seen and witnessed

Sameh Alawy