Dodi Fayed Is Buried Quietly Near London
AP: Los Angeles Times
LONDON - Dodi Fayed was buried yesterday after a swift and simple Islamic ceremony in London.
The quiet tribute to Fayed, 42, who was killed in a wreck in Paris early yesterday, was overshadowed by national mourning for Princess Diana, who was with him in the car and died shortly after the wreck.
Fayed's coffin arrived at the London Central Mosque in Regent's Park shortly after nightfall. A police motorcyclist and two police cars escorted the hearse; about 50 mourners waited outside the mosque.
Raafat Maglad, a prayer caller at the mosque, said Mohamed Al Fayed attended the 25-minute private funeral for his son, as did Egypt's ambassador to Britain. Afterward, Dodi Fayed was buried at Brookwood cemetery, 25 miles southwest of London.
Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods department store in London and the Ritz Hotel in Paris, had wanted his son, an Egyptian citizen, to be buried in Britain, family spokesman Michael Cole said yesterday.
"He is very patriotic about this country," Cole said.
Although he has lived in Britain for years, Mohamed Al Fayed has never attained British citizenship. Authorities determined he lied about his background and finances when he immigrated.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Dodi Fayed was the only child of Mohamed Al Fayed's marriage to the late Samira Khashoggi, the sister of billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. He grew up in a world of jet-set privilege.
Fayed's father moved to England from Egypt and ended up owning some of Europe's flagship businesses. But Mohamed Al Fayed has never attained British citizenship. Authorities determined he lied about his background and finances when he immigrated. He claimed to come from an old family of cotton traders and added an "Al" to his name to imply noble background but actually was the son of a poor teacher. He gained further notoriety by handing out cash to members of Parliament to help in his efforts to buy Harrods.
Dodi Fayed graduated from the British Army's elite Sandhurst military academy and briefly served as a junior officer in the London embassy of the United Arab Emirates.
He became a fixture on the London nightclub scene, a lover of fast cars and beautiful women. He "collected celebrities" as well as women, acquaintances said, and sat back quietly at his own lavish parties to watch them have a good time.
He often failed to pay for the clubs and mansions he rented for these bashes, and became embroiled in lawsuits.
Fayed's eight-month marriage to Suzanne Gregard, a former American model, ended in 1987.
In London and Hollywood, he worked in movie production, co-financing the Academy Award-winning British film "Chariots of Fire," along with the not-so-successful "Hook," "The World According to Garp" and "F/X."
"He wasn't exactly a serious producer," said Derek Malcolm, film critic of the British newspaper the Guardian. "He was a dabbler. He loved being around the celebrities. He didn't have much else to do."
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