A former Guantanamo detainee has married a woman in Montevideo after he was resettled in Uruguay. The wedding was the first of two for ex-prisoners living in the Latin American country.
Fifty-year-old Tunisian Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi and 24-year-old Roma Blanco (pictured above) were married in a Muslim wedding in Montevideo on Friday.
The Uruguayan converted to Islam four months ago and wanted to take the name Samira. She met El Ouerghi a month ago in a mosque.
"Adel is humble, respectful, nice and very gentlemanly," Blanco said, adding that she liked her husband's sincerity and was touched by the way he treated her five-year-old son. She said she wasn't interested in El Ouerghi's past.
"I know that he was tortured, but I haven't wanted to dig in his wounds," Blanco said about her husband's time in Guantanamo, the US prison in Cuba in which question suspects were questioned after the 9/11 attacks.
The wedding took place in a two-bedroom apartment where the couple was planning to stay after the wedding. Imam and director of the Egyptian Islamic Center in Montevideo Samir Selim officiated at the wedding. The couple was planning to take out a wedding license next week.
Another ex-detainee to wed
The second wedding, of Omar Abdelhadi Faraj from Syria, is scheduled to take place on Saturday. The 34-year-old Faraj is getting married to Irina Posadas, who has a child from a previous marriage.
Posadas, a Chinese teacher by profession, met Faraj in February when she helped teach the young men Spanish. She converted to Islam a year and a half ago. "Omar is very intelligent and a good communicator… I don't want him to be seen as a former prisoner, but rather a regular person," Posada said.
The US resettled six former Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay last December. The men complained of not been able to adjust in the South American country and its government's lack of help, protesting in front of the US embassy in Montevideo in April. Four detainees, including El Ouerghi, signed a pact in May, enhancing the terms of their support.
mg/bk (AP, Reuters)