A DISTRAUGHT Leeds mother who hasn’t seen her five-year-old daughter since she was snatched by her estranged husband while they were on a Christmas family trip to Egypt more than a year ago spoke today of her heartbreak.
Little Elsa Salama was taken from her apartment by her father, Tamer Salama, in December 2011, leaving her mum Naomi Button bereft.
Salama, 35, is currently serving a prison sentence in the UK for refusing to reveal their daughter’s whereabouts and Ms Button has now launched an international appeal as she enters a second year without her little girl.
Ms Button, 39, wants Elsa, who turns six on February 2, to know “she is looking for her” and “hope she knows that Mummy didn’t disappear or abandon her”.
She even revealed how the Elsa’s bedroom has been kept as she left it and her unopened Christmas presents have been left by the fireplace.
Ms Button was forced to return to the UK without her daughter and despite repeated trips to Egypt she has had no contact with Elsa, who is believed to be with Salama’s family.
She said: “I can’t describe what life been like since she was taken. The one thing I knew when I got on that plane without her is no matter what it took, no matter how long it took, I would find Elsa and she would find her life as it was.
“I would like to tell her that I’m sorry and I love her so much, I hope she knows that Mummy didn’t disappear or abandon her.
“I hope she knows in her heart she feels that Mummy is going to come back and try to find her.
“To snatch Elsa away from me was the cruellest thing anyone could do. For the family to hide her and prevent her from having any contact with me is devastating and I appeal from the bottom of my heart to Tamer’s family to please give her back to me. All they need to do is to make one phone call to the British Embassy.”
Ms Button had met Egyptian Salama when he was working in an international school in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005.
The couple were married in Egypt in 2006 and moved to England in 2007 following Elsa’s birth where they lived in the family home in Leeds.
The pair separated in 2009 but continued to live together in the family home until Salama began a teacher training degree in Southampton in August 2010.
Elsa had been taken to Sharm el-Sheikh for the Christmas holidays in 2011 and just two days before Elsa, Ms Button and Salama’s family had all enjoyed a dinner.