Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has expressed his admiration for the unwavering support and strength shown by the former first lady, Nasreena Ibrahim.
After Gayoom was released on bail following the ruling delivered by the High Court on September 30th, the former president took to Twitter to express overwhelming appreciation for his longtime wife, Nasreena.
The couple, who are celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary on July 14th this year, originally met in 1965 while pursuing further studies in Cairo, Egypt.
They tied the knot four years later in the same country they had met and welcomed their firstborns; a set of female twins, Dhunya Maumoon and Yumna Maumoon, on 20 March 1970. Nasreena gave birth to their first son Ahmed Faris Maumoon in Malé on 31 March 1971, and their second son Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon was born on 12 June 1980 during Gayoom's presidency.
During Gayoom’s 30 year presidency, Nasreena was not a notable participant in his political activities, opting instead to partake in social initiatives.
The former first lady led the call for the release of her husband, armed with an array of supporters, at numerous gatherings held near the criminal court during Gayoom’s trial proceedings. To the same effect, Nasreena also participated in President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s presidential campaign.
Nasreena continuously petitioned authorities for the opportunity to reside with her husband during his imprisonment after reports of his suffering arose. Gayoom is being treated for a medical condition known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which according to statements made by his family and doctors, rapidly worsened during his incarceration.
Furthermore, Nasreena released an emotional plea video on the eve of Presidential Elections on September 23rd urging the public to vote in favour of the then Presidential candidate for the Opposition Coalition Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. President-Elect Solih had widely stated his intent to free all political prisoners, claiming were arrested over false accusations.
Although not directly a political figure herself, as Maldives' longest-serving first lady, Nasreena Ibrahim is widely believed to have been a significant contributor to Gayoom's popularity in his rise to power and equally within continuing political presence, by way of her own influential background, and the impact of her charity work.