Indian FM intervenes to help 500kg Egyptian woman

Indian doc relentless in drive to help Iman, contacted minister on Twitter to grant visas to obese woman’s family

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In an unorthodox foreign policy move, India’s foreign minister has intervened to help Iman Ahmed Abdulati, an Egyptian who refused to leave her home for a quarter of a century due to her 500kg weight, get a treatment in Mumbai.

The 36-year-old Iman hails from the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Doctors described her condition as a disruption of the glands.

Her sister, Chaymaa Abdulati, had previously spoken about her sibling’s suffering, which helped to garner international media attention.

On Tuesday evening, Chaymaa received a surprise in the form of a phone call from the Indian Embassy in Cairo and informed that she needs to go to the embassy and take not only her passport but Iman’s and their mother’s as well.

The phone call took place after Chaymaa and her family were denied a visa to India.

The story began when Chaymaa received a phone call “from an Indian Muslim doctor called Mofdel.”

Chaymaa said doctor Mofdel has a center in Mumbai for treating such rare cases of obesity. “He asked us to apply for a visa to visit India,” she said.

But “we were denied a visa, so I informed him of that and I just gave up.”

Doctor Mofdel, however, was relentless in his drive to help Iman.

The doctor then communicated via Twitter with the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and told the female leader about the situation. He voiced his desire to transfer Iman to Mumbai for treatment.

“Thank you for telling me. We will certainly help her,” Swaraj wrote.

On Tuesday, doctor Mofdel announced on Twitter: “The Indian Embassy in Cairo granted Iman a visa.”

He thanked Swaraj for quickly responding to his request.

Chaymaa said she had contacted all medical facilities and institutions in Egypt and the world and has not found a treatment so far except for doctor Mofdel.

The generous doctor told Iman that he will treat her sister for free, and he sent her the tickets to India, after fundraising money for the cause.

(The story was first published in the Arabic language website for Al Arabiya News Channel)

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