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Undertaker providing Muslim funeral services opens in Padua

Business caters to growing Islamic population in Italy

04 January, 14:20
Undertaker providing Muslim funeral services opens in Padua (ANSA) - Padua, January 4 - Muslims living in northern Italy now have easier access to funeral services that comply with the Islamic rite following the opening of a dedicated undertaker in Padua. Albakii - named after the cemetery at the holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia - is the brainchild of Niam Abdessamed, 30, from Morocco. Some 12 months ago he abandoned a degree in engineering to set up the business and has since organised around 40 Muslim funerals and 4-5 burials, with the remaining deceased being expatriated for burial in their country of origin. Services are in keeping with the many rules laid down by the Koran concerning death and the burial of the Muslim faithful, including the importance of cleansing, scenting and covering the body and the importance of burying it as soon as possible.

There are currently only two dedicated burial places for Muslims in the northern Veneto region, in the cemeteries at Padua and Verona, and, despite a growing Muslim immigrant population, local undertakers are often unfamiliar with the Islamic funeral rite.

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