Wails for the dead filled a Muslim gathering place tonight as relatives of those feared killed in the Egypt-Air plane crash shared their grief.
"It's so tragic that we cannot express the sorrow," said Hisham Elzanaty, of Searingtown, whose parents, Abdu and Fawqia Elzanaty, were on Flight 990.
"Life will never be the same without my parents," he said. "We spent last night together until one in the morning. They prayed for us, and we wished them a safe flight."
Elzanaty was joined by his brother, Tarec, at the prayer service at the Islamic Center of Long Island. They said their parents, a contractor and a housewife from Cairo, had been visiting them for two months.
Sheik Ahmed Deweidar, the imam at the modern, green-domed mosque, read from the Koran and recited a prayer for the dead.
Wadida Farid, the sister of Flight 990 pilot Ahmed el-Habashy, sat draped in black, holding a box of tissues. "I have family pictures," she said, tears streaming down her face. "That is all I have left. This is so horrible."
Talaat Abdalmoneim, an intensive care doctor at Long Island College in Brooklyn, also lost his parents in the crash. He wept through most of the prayer service.
Abdalmoneim's wife, Gihan, said the couple had driven her husband's parents, Abdel-Rahman Amin, owner of a coffee-roasting factory, and his wife, Alia Abdou, to the airport at about 9 p.m., only to learn that the flight was delayed.
They then drove the older couple home for coffee and tea, then back to the airport in time to catch the flight.
"I assumed they wouldn't make it on the flight and would go another day, but they said, 'No,' " Gihan Abdalmoneim said.
The older couple had hoped to reach Cairo in time for the birth of their 11th grandchild.
CAPTION: At an Islamic center in Los Angeles, Maher Hathout leads group in prayer for those killed in the EgyptAir plane crash.