Their story has gone all around the globe and since giving a press conference at Torrox town hall a week ago, Jimena Rico and Shaza Ismail have been inundated with requests for interviews and even offers to have their story made into a book or a film.
The young couple, who fled Dubai fearing for their lives after Shaza’s family refused to accept their relationship, came to Torrox, Jimena’s home town, and are now finalising their move to Malaga to be closer to Marbella, where they have both found work in roles with the Funky Buddha Beach group.
Jimena will work as a mixologist, a role she took up when she moved to London in 2013, while Shaza will be employed as a hostess.
Javier Calle, one of the group’s representatives, told SUR that after hearing the pair’s story, they were left “impressed”, and “through a mutual friend I got in contact with them and offered them jobs”.
“Their CVs are impressive and through Shaza we can reach out to more Middle Eastern clients,” he concluded.
The couple will shortly move to Malaga where Shaza will continue her Spanish lessons while they work to have her papers in order.
Asked whether Shaza’s parents had changed their outlook, Jimena said that they had spoken but “they still won’t accept our relationship”.
She added that she hoped that by continuing to give interviews, they can slowly change the perceptions of homosexuality in the Arab world.