When a person passes away in Siwa, his family notifies their relatives and neighbors. Then the town crier announces the death to the entire town, walking through the streets and calling out: “A graveyard in East Siwa (or other part of Siwa).” He will not call out any details, such as the name of the deceased -- people will either ask the town crier or find out at the cemetery. 
Everyone in Siwa is expected to attend the funeral: the men meet at the cemetery, but the women will mourn at the house of the deceased. At the house, relatives bring a water tank for washing and cooking, and build a palm tree fence around the entrances of the house for the privacy of the women who will gather there. Meanwhile, a group of people prepare a meal at the mosque for the people who will return there with the family after the funeral. A group of young men carrying shovels will also meet at the mosque and head to the cemetery together to dig the grave. There they will wait for the body of the deceased, and there they will remain three days, sleeping in a tent beside the grave to protect the body from magicians and grave robbers.        

The funeral procession begins at the house of the deceased. Everyone, including the people from the mosque, gathers outside and carry the body in a procession to the graveyard. Prayer will be led either by a close relative who is the most knowledgeable in religion or a sheikh. After the closest relatives lay the body in the grave, the family sits in a shelter or “khos” at the graveyard waiting for the thousands of people who will give their condolences. Then the town crier will announce the family’s decision: whether they will stay three days to wait for those who were not able to attend that day, or whether the family will forgive anyone who was absent. Normally they return to the mosque for a meal, although some families consider the meal an innovation and hence not in keeping with Islam. After the meal they leave if the family is decided not to sit three days. If not, the family will sit in a room in the mosque to receive condolences.   


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