Two of the former Guantanamo detainees currently living in Uruguay are planning to marry next month, El Observador newspaper is reporting. In back-to-back ceremonies, Mahmoud Faraj and Mohamed bin Abdul will marry Uruguayan nationals Fatima and Soraya respectively, the paper said.
Fatima belongs to a Muslim family and lived abroad until recently, while Soraya converted to Islam just four months ago.
The couples met in February, while the men staged a weeks-long protest in front of the U.S. embassy in Montevideo demanding financial support. The women visited them often at the site.
In early May, another local newspaper published a piece titled "Uruguayan facing Mecca." The paper interviewed Fatima, recounting that she had lived several years in Taiwan and was a teacher of languages.
She belonged to a group of a dozen Muslims who visited the former Guantamamo prisoners camped outside. "They are our brothers," she told El País.
The ceremonies, already authorized by their congregation’s sheikh, will take place at the only mosque in Montevideo, linked to the Egyptian Embassy in Uruguay.
The two other former Guantanamo prisoners will acts as witnesses to the union.
As a humanitarian gesture, Uruguay's government took in the four and two others in December after U.S. authorities freed them from Guantanamo. They had spent 12 years at the U.S. military prison for suspected al-Qaida ties, but U.S. officials decided they were no longer a threat and let them go.
The four Syrians, one Tunisian and one Palestinian have repeatedly said the United States should help them financially so they can afford to bring their families to Uruguay.
The men get $600 (15,000 pesos) a month from Uruguay's government, which they must use to pay for food, clothes, cellphones and other personal items. Officials have also provided a house for the six men to share.