Mother launches appeal after daughter Elsa Salama is snatched by her father in Egypt
The mother of a five-year-old girl snatched by her father while on a family holiday to Egypt today launched an international appeal for her safe return.
Elsa Salama was taken by her Egyptian father, Tamer Salama, during a visit to his relatives at the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh 13 months ago and is believed to be being held by his relatives somewhere in Egypt.
Her mother Naomi Button, 39, Salama’s estranged partner, has neither seen nor spoken to her daughter since, and today issued a heartfelt plea to be reunited with her.
Ms Button, a leadership consultant from Leeds, travelled to Egypt four times last year to search for Elsa.
Meanwhile, Salama has been jailed for contempt of court in Britain after failing to comply with a judge’s order to return the girl to the UK.
Ms Button said the past year had been heartbreaking and she was dreading her daughter’s sixth birthday next month, because she feared they would be forced to spend it apart.
“The worst times are when I wake up in the middle of the night,” she said.
“I worry that she’s crying for me. I wonder that she thinks I just left her. I don’t know what she’s been told. I don’t know if she thinks I don’t want her and I just left here in Egypt.”
She added: “Please just let her come home to her mummy. She found it very difficult being away from me for any length of time. I know that she wants to be back home with mummy and I hope that they do the right thing.”
Salama, 35, who was training to be a physics teacher in Southampton, was jailed for two years in January for flouting High Court rulings.
Last week the sentence was extended by 12 months because of his continuing failure to comply with orders to reveal Elsa’s whereabouts. The court agreed to publicise the case to help the find Elsa.
At the High Court in London last week Mr Justice Cobb said Mr Salama had deprived Elsa of her mother’s love in a “gross act” which deserved to be punished with a jail term.
“I regard the continued state of affairs as one which is wholly outside Elsa’s best interests and I believe that the father needs now to wake up and recognise that,” the judge said.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: “We have been providing consular assistance to Ms Button since December 2011 and continue to do so. While Elsa is in Egypt, the Egyptian Police are responsible for locating her, since they have powers to investigate matters in Egypt.”
Last month Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, 6, was reunited with her British mother three years after she was was abducted by her father and taken to Pakistan.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...