Canadian family receives wrong body of deceased father

 A family in Quebec is searching for answers after discovering that their father’s remains didn’t make it to Canada from Cuba, where he died while on vacation, and instead received the remains of another man.

Funerals for Faraj Allah Jarjour were sched­uled for Sunday and Monday. Instead, his daughter Miriam Jarjour had been desperately calling and emailing as many officials as she can, trying to find his body.

“Up until now we have no answers,” Jarjour said. “Where is my father?”

Jarjour said she was swimming with her 68-year-old father in the ocean near Varadero, Cuba, during a family vacation on March 22 when he suddenly had a heart attack and died.

Because there were no medical facilities, his body was covered and left on a beach chair in the hot sun for more than eight hours until a car arrived to take it to Havana, Jarjour said.

After that, it’s not clear what happened.

Jarjour said she followed the directions given to her by the Canadian consulate, and paid $10,000 Canadian (US$7,300) to have the body returned home to the family.

However, the casket that arrived late last week contained the body of a Russian man who was at least 20 years younger than Jarjour’s father. Unlike her father, the body also had a full head of hair and tattoos.

Jarjour said the stranger’s body has been sent to his country, but she and her family don’t know where her father is.

When Jarjour contacted Canada’s consular au­thorities in Cuba, they blamed the company in the island that coordinates the return of the remains. Since then, she says she has been emailing oth­er government officials, including her Member of Parliament, who has agreed to reach out to Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly.

“I’m honestly destroyed,” said Jarjour. “Up until now we have no answers. We’re waiting. I don’t know what to tell you.”

Jarjour described her father as an active man who didn’t smoke or drink. The Syrian-born family man was “always smiling,” she said.-AP

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