Melanie’s storyPosted: 12/09/2012
My name is Melanie Ebrahim, I’m a 22 year old British woman married to an Egyptian Man called Mahmoud who is 26. Mahmoud and I have been married for 2 years, we lived together in Egypt initially for 1 year, during this time I had become very sick and suffered with depression. The lifestyle here that we have in Egypt is very hard, especially with me being a foreigner with blue eyes and white skin. I was harassed every time I would leave the house, I had stones thrown at me and men trying to touch me. It became so bad that it was easier for me to stay indoors, therefore isolating myself and feeling alone. I could not drink from the water here and even bottled water made me sick. I began to not eat in fear of being unwell and spent many nights in the hospital having tests. Throughout all this time my husband stuck by my side and tried to help me the best way he could. We had not really thought about living in the Uk before but after all that I had experienced here and not being able to take it any longer we discussed about trying to apply for a spouse visa. In October 2011 I travelled back home to Birmingham to begin the spouse visa process. I knew I would have to find a job and work hard for 6 months so that I could bring my husband over with me. I found a job within 2 weeks of being home as a Shift Leader in a well known company and began work in November. I worked extremely hard up to 60 hours a week so that I could save money. I had a home for myself and my husband to stay in and support from all my family. The 7 months we spent apart were the worst days of my life, I missed him so much but i knew what I was doing was right. I had no plans to cheat the system and I worked hard to bring him over the right way. My husband passed his english test with flying colours and worked in Egypt to also try to save money so we had the best chance of being successful with our application. In June 2012 I travelled back over to Egypt to start the application, at this time the new rules were only speculation and gossip and nobody was really sure of when it would happen. We had some trouble collecting my husband’s army release paper so that he was able to travel which delayed us in the process of applying. We also was unaware that all documents had to be handed in before the 9th of July so therefore missed the closing date to apply under the old rules. This has completely ruined our lives, i now have no choice but to live in Egypt as I do not and could not earn at this present time £18,600.
I have been in Egypt now since the new rules and had to leave my job and my family in the UK to be with my husband. My health is suffering again and I am once again stuck unable to go out in fear of being harassed. I do not speak the language here so even a simple task of bringing water from the local shop is impossible for me so I am completely dependant on my husband. I beg him everyday not to go out to work in fear of being left alone. I am surrounded by so many people in a big city but have never felt more alone. We really do not have any choice but to continue our life here, my husband will never get to meet my family in person and my future children will be living a life of poverty because there mother couldn’t satisfy the UK immigration rules of earning £18,600 and I really have no idea where I go from here.