45-year age gap barred international couple from wedding
Courts in Spain, Morocco conclude the international couple is marrying for economic reasons and denies them a marriage permit.26 August 2008
GRANADA – In 2004, Adolfo Galán went to Morocco on a work visit for the International University of Andalusia. There, in a fast-food restaurant on Casablanca's Corniche, the Granada native met the woman he claims he has fallen in love with.
Eddab Narwall, who was 19 at the time, and Galán, 64, say love knows no age limits but Spanish and Moroccan judges see things differently.
Courts in both countries have so far refused to accept that they want to marry for legitimate reasons.
A court in Motril, Granada, reasoned they must want to wed for "fraudulent or economic" reasons, while a Moroccan court refused to issue a marriage permit, forcing the couple to take their case to another court in Granada.
"Between the lines it's written that the age difference between us is great, but where are the rules that say at what age I can fall in love?" says Galán.
Neither he nor his fiancée can understand why they should be put through a legal and bureaucratic ordeal to prove that they are in love.
An engineer who spent his working career in the electronics business founded by his father, Galán finds it hard to believe that courts would question his motives. "I don't have money worries, in fact quite the opposite," he says, noting that there is no financial incentive for him to enter into a marriage of convenience.
Galán also rejects the idea that there is a lack of contact between the couple or that they cannot communicate, given that they both understand Spanish and French. "This week I was in Casablanca and we saw each other several more times, and we call each other frequently," he says.
The couple’s meeting place has always been in Morocco. Narwall has not been given permission to come to Spain, and the couple's plans to move to Brazil also fell through when the young woman was denied a visa.
[El Pais / Valme Cortes / Expatica]