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Two Egyptian healthcare workers have reached out to the people of Uist for help in relocating to the Outer Hebrides.

The married couple, a dentist and physiotherapist, have set their heart on leaving Egypt because they have renounced Islam and now feel uncomfortable living in their homeland.

Appealing for information on potentially relocating to Uist or elsewhere in the islands, Ahmed Taha (28) took to the Uist Noticeboard on Facebook.

Ahmed, a dentist, and his wife, Heba Hamdy, a 29-year-old physiotherapist, explained that the Outer Hebrides appeared to be a good fit for them.

“[The Hebrides is] A place where we can live among a community that could accept us, a place that suits our tendency for living in quiet, uncrowded places filled with natural scenery, a place where we can be useful due to our experience in caregiving,” explains Ahmed.

“We contacted the settlement officer, and she was helpful. However, in order for foreigners with our status to work in the UK, they need to be invited by an employer, and here is where you can help us. We need a sponsorship visa. It does not matter what job we will be needed for; we are willing to learn and contribute.”

Currently, they face a daily struggle, being ex-Muslims in Egypt being unable to be their true selves and being despised by the local community.

“We can’t eat publicly in the mornings of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, we can’t discuss our ideas and thoughts with anyone, my wife can’t take off her hijab although she does not believe in wearing it, and even having an alcoholic drink is way complicated and hard. Simply put, we are people who do not belong to the Egyptian community but are trapped in it,” states Ahmed.

The couple, who married in 2021, had tried relocating to a remote area of Egypt, Marsa Allam, but after a year, they realised it was no different from the rest of the country.

The appeal received general approval and employment suggestions. However, a few expressed doubts that it could be a scam. Another user replied that she had been in contact with Ahmed, and their appeal for help was legitimate.

His Facebook page, created in March 2019, has 616 followers. It lists his hometown as Ziftá, Al Gharbiyah, Egypt. His profile also states he studied at Sinai University Faculty of Dentistry from 2012 to 2018 and was a dental intern at Ziftá General Hospital from February 2019 until January 2020.

Contacted by welovestornoway.com, Ahmed confirmed that he had posted on the Uist Noticeboard group and that he and his wife were ready to investigate any leads that might be generated. 

He added that before the post he had been emailing and messaging people and employers to find a job and someone willing to help with a sponsorship visa. However, he had not received any positive responses or feedback from them, and others had not responded at all.