New image: Four Uighars, above, sporting heavy beards and below, with their new clean-shaven look (their island guide Glenn Brangman is second from left).
New image: Four Uighars, above, sporting heavy beards and below, with their new clean-shaven look (their island guide Glenn Brangman is second from left).
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Bermudian companies have stepped in with at least eight job offers for the four freed Guantanamo prisoners.

The political turmoil surrounding the arrival of the Gitmo Four has not stopped local businesses from offering them work, said Major Glenn Brangman, their

liaison officer in Bermuda.

"We've had several people who have reached out to offer them employment.

"I would say we have had at least eight companies come in with definite

offers."

Brangman, who has been charged with handling their transition to freedom, said it would be a few weeks before they were in a position to begin their new careers.

"There's still quite a bit of administration to sort out to get them to that point," he cautioned.

One of the companies that has offered to employ the men is understood to be a construction firm.

But their skills are not limited to manual labour.

"There is a mix of talent among these individuals. One of them has previously worked as an elementary school teacher, one managed a bakery and I think another of them had a candy-making business at one point."

He said all four were healthy and eager to start work as soon as possible.

"I think people realize these are four individuals who have been dealt a raw deal but they are prepared to move on with their lives.

"They don't want to sit on the wall and blame the world. They come across as genuine, intelligent guys and they want to support themselves, not live off the American government."

One of the four Salahidin Abdulahat added that they were eager to work.

"We are willing to work hard, we are healthy, we are willing to do anything."

The quartet arrived on the island early last Thursday morning with the clothes on their backs and small duffle bags containing all their worldly possessions.

Much of the past week has been spent on practicalities like buying clothes and toiletries as well as fielding a mass of interview requests.

From CNN and the New York Times to Uighur radio stations and college documentary filmmakers, everyone has wanted to hear their story.

Major Brangman said it was important to get the media-stuff out the way before getting down to the practical business of finding them work. But he plans to follow up on the job offers once things begin to calm down.

Mr Brangman also revealed that the four Uighurs, three of whom arrived with heavy beards before later appearing with a new clean-shaven look, had taken the decision to change their image themselves.

"That was something they discussed among themselves and I think they figured that if some people were offended by that look that they came to that conclusion (to change it).

"I think it's also a case of a new-look to start a new-life."