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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Fayed Buried In Swift, Simple Islamic Ceremony

Associated Press

Dodi Fayed was buried Sunday after a swift and simple Islamic ceremony in Britain, a country that denied his father citizenship but welcomed his millions in investment.

The quiet tribute to Fayed, 42, was overshadowed by national mourning for 36-year-old Princess Diana, who died shortly after the same car crash in Paris early Sunday.

Fayed’s coffin, draped in a black cloth with gold lettering, arrived at the Central London 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 funeral for his son as did Egypt’s ambassador to Britain. After, Fayed was buried at Brookwood cemetery, 25 miles southwest of London, police said.

Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods department store in London and the Ritz hotel in Paris - had wanted his son to be buried in Britain, family spokesman Michael Cole said earlier Sunday.

“He is very patriotic about this country,” Cole said.

Buckingham Palace said funeral arrangements for Princess Diana would be announced today.

Fayed - the Oscar-winning producer of the 1981 film “Chariots of Fire,” as well as “The World According to Garp,” “F/X,” and “Hook” - had hardly been known in Britain until his romance with Diana hit the tabloids last month.

His father, however, was quite prominent: He had come from Egypt and ended up owning some of Europe’s flagship businesses. He flew in private helicopters and sailed in extravagant yachts.

But 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, but actually was the son of a poor schoolteacher. Al Fayed gained further notoriety by handing out cash to members of Parliament to help in his efforts to buy Harrods.

His son’s high style of living and entertaining produced a trail of lawsuits over unpaid bills. Dodi Fayed bounced checks and failed to pay rent on several luxury homes in southern California, his spokesman acknowledged before his death.

In Beverly Hills, Calif., Fayed leased a series of mansions for prices ranging from $20,000 a month to $35,000 a month and was sued repeatedly for leaving landlords in the lurch.

Fayed was a graduate of the British Army’s elite Sandhurst Military Academy and once served as a junior officer in London for the United Arab Emirates. He married American socialite Suzanne Gregard in 1987; they divorced after eight months.

Sunday night, the hundreds of twinkling lights on Harrods were switched off. Spotlights illuminated the Union Jack flags flying at half-staff at the store in London’s upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood.

There was a small display of flowers left outside Harrods, much smaller than the piles of bouquets hundreds of grieving Britons carried to Buckingham Palace.

“Diana and Dodi, you will both be missed by the nation,” said one message.