Ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee from Tunisia to wed

Freed Guantanamo Bay detainee Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi, of Tunisia shows his Uruguayan identification card in front of the U.S. embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay. (File Photo: AP)

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee planned Friday to marry an Uruguayan woman who has converted to Islam, the first of two weddings being organized by men resettled in the South American country.

Roma Blanco told The Associated Press that she and Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi would wed Friday afternoon at an apartment in Montevideo. She said she converted to Islam four months ago and had met El Ouerghi, a 50-year-old from Tunisia, at a mosque last month.

“Adel is humble, respectful, nice and very gentlemanly,” she said in a phone interview. “He is everything that a woman can expect from a man.”

Blanco, who declined to give her age, said Friday they would have a religious ceremony and take out a wedding license next week.

Having a license is required in Uruguay for a union to be recognized. Also, according to the law, a priest or other person officiating can be fined or even jailed for overseeing a ceremony if a license hasn’t been obtained.

Fatima Posadas, another Uruguayan woman who converted to Islam, confirmed to the AP on Thursday that she and husband-to-be Omar Abdelhadi Faraj, from Syria, also had not yet obtained a license. Posadas said she and Faraj, 34, planned to wed on Saturday and would get their license next week.

The two men and four other former detainees were resettled in Uruguay in December after spending nearly 13 years in Guantanamo. All were detained in Afghanistan in 2002 with alleged ties to al-Qaida.

By their own admission, the men have struggled to adjust in Uruguay, a nation of 3.3 million people. They have frequently complained that Uruguay hasn’t done enough to help.

Four of the men recently staged a nearly month-long protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo to demand that the American government compensate them for their years in prison.

Problems aside, Faraj and El Ouerghi have frequently expressed a desire to wed and start families in Uruguay.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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