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married couples who trust each other are not welcome in spain

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yeah you got that right.

me and manal are going to barcelona for a seminar (we'll be talking about our blog btw), today they gave me the visa but refused to give manal one.

the reason?

well you see we only got one bank account, and it happens to be in my name. Manal has a 'tawkil', her signature is registered in the bank database and she can deposit and withdraw money 3adi ya3ni. since we spend most of our time together we got one credit card that sometimes happens to reside in my pocket and sometimes in manal's handbag.

for some reason that is not good enough for embassy, why is it anyone's business how me and manal manage our money is beyond me.

is it just plain stupidity? is it cultural imperialism? or maybe they're just trying to liberate poor Manal who cannot realize her full potential without being fiscally independent or something.

Security guards tell a fairy tale from embassy role of a young couple who wanted to go to spain on honeymoon, they bride got a visa but the groom didn't, their souls still haunt the metal detector at the enterance.

ok obligatory racist white man bashing ahead, be warned

you know what a country whose people fail to act like proper mamals shouldn't be telling others how to run their marriages.


It is only your stupid banking system. In Spain and other more civilized countries, it is normal that you and your wife has one shared account (no need to tawkeel). Each of you has own bank card with own name. Even credit card companies issue cards in the family members names for the same account.

So I wouldn't blame the Spanish consulate. Correct the situation with your bank or travel with a tawkeel from Manal ;-)

you know what? you don't get it at all.

try and read twice or something.


this has nothing to do with our banking system. we do have the option of doing shared accounts, we are not interested.

we are a married couple, traveling together and applying together, we trust each other and are happy with our banking arrangement, we offered the embassy proof of whatever money we own.

if in spain you find it normal for some beuracracy to interfere in how you manage your married life, we don't do that in Egypt, and we are not immegrating so there is no need to adopt freaking spanish costums.

Dear Alaa, I'm happy to write to you, since this's my first comment on your blog, and actually my first comment ever I've received a couple of schingen visas in the last few years, so maybe I can give you future tips from my humble experiences basically, schengen states are not happy with our visits, I'm not a racist againest europeans but simply cuz their harms here are more than benfits, illegal immigration, misbehaviour and so, I witness that unfortuantly sometimes here in Germany that means they would refuse your visa if it fails one of their conditions, true you explained your situation to the employee at the embassy, but that employee didn't write a report explaining your situation and sent it along with your and your wife's docs to spain, the foreigners authorities in Spain understande for sure the bank account thing, they are not stupid, but simply they are applying their law, plus they don't pity an applicant, to them we are just some documents, so as a rule of thumb, don't argue with the employee cuz he's not the one giving you the visa, he's just a filter, so don't push a document through him, cuz it'll get refused by the higher authorities. They are asking for a finnacial proof,not cuz they are suspecting u might illeegally stay there, but to make sure you got money to finance yourself during your stay *not sure about the legal motives for sure* About the bank account thing, I'm not interfering with your business, just giving a tip that might be helpful, when you have a credit card, you might apply for what they call in the banks *cart edafy* , this additional card doesn't change a bit in your bank account, but divides your balance into two parts during withdrawal, if you have 1000 pounds, then each card can withdraw up to 500 pounds max,but for direct withdrawal you still can withdraw as much as you like

ok, I hope I was useful happy new year motaz

I hate repeating myself.

obviously what they did was wrong and stupid becuase we did get the visas in the end without changing anything about how we manage our finances, we had to talk to the consular (or whatever you call the boss of the embassy) and explain the situation though.

Applying for Schengen visa is a very cold bureaucratic process.

There is nothing more senseless than the measures they use to separate between a person eligible to enter a given country from the other.

But you never know (tm). Why they refused her the visa.

May be Manal is a security risk. Remember her previous threatening attempts to arouse innocent men on an airplane.

It is funny here! Are you applying as a married couple traveling together or as two separate individuals? The hassle you mention should not be the case if you are applying for visa as a married couple.

Regarding another comment here, Shenegen regulations have nothing to do with your financial situation. Have a successful trip!

yeah we did apply as a married couple, we where both invited to speak in the same seminar.

and you're dreaming, the visa is about your financial situation, you are supposed to show a bank statement even if you are invited and all your expenses are covered.

it is clearly a class based decision.

whenever I applied for visa's for Europe I was required to have bank extracts, even though I didn't have a cent in them. Really bizarre. A utitlity bill was no good, it had to be a bank account. And of course, a letter from my employer. So Shenegen visas do have some to do with finance.

Look, you are lucky. They don't google your name before you get a Visa. Read this

Right on the mark, Alaa, I really like your blog and viewpoints,

Have a safe and successful trip,

Egyptian in Germany

Hi from Barcelona. I think your problem is due to silly bureaucracy reasons and the system's difficulties for manage the great amount of visa applications. no "cultural imperialism" ( i don't undestand this reference in this case), yes universal human stupidity, maybe...:-) You and Manal are on papers today (El periodico of Catalunya, page 15). good looking couple..

It's a pity

I wasn't very serious about cultural imperialism, but when trying to explain to the employees at the embassy how stupid their argument was they started to explain to us how couples in spain have seperate bank accounts which was completely beside the point since we only needed a 4 days visa not migrate.

but you are right it was a stupid thing, we met the consule and she was very helpful, the whole issue got resolved and I'm writing this comment from beautiful barcelona, and you might even get to see us on TV.

so which day is today, you figure I can buy a copy of that newspaper.

you´re absolutly right Alaa, anyhow, i don´t think its ¨spanish costum¨we´re discussing here... i´ve been living in barcelona for many years, and it is true that there is a ¨lack¨ of trust towards travelers from that part of the world. but i have to say that the first time i went to the midle east (Lebanon) in 2002, i had a tough time to be allowed to get in the plane at the transit, because i had no cash on me!? i had my credit card and was travelling with a french passport. anyway, i really hope you enjoying your time in Barcelona!

Well Alaa,

i think the whole story makes sense, Manal can't be let into spain at the sametime you will, the reason? mosh enta ya mawlanaa lamma betroo7 teshtery 2ezazet KAZOOZA betseeb rahn?? fol geddan!! so for Spain to be sure you will be back and will not immigrate to spain lazem ya7'do el madam 7aramkom el masoon RAHN.

dah mosh ma3nah ennoh enta kazooza tab3an :P

Saba7 el Koshk

this is the best answer

you are really funy

There is only one thing that I still don't get: the "why" of it all. Why Manal has no bank account?!!! And why does the credit card reside in your pocket?! I am sorry I don't get it. The fact that you are all the time together does not justify anything. It is time for Manal to either have her own account. Or for you guys to have a joint account. Good luck in Spain though. And congrats for the "Reporters sans Fronteres" prize! Cheers!

lets repeat, she does have a bank account, it is just that the bank account balance statement doesn't have her name.

I don't know what's the word in english, we set up a 'tawkil' which simply means she has full access to the account.

the credit card thing is just lazyness, sometimes it is in my pocket, sometimes it is in hers, we can get another one, we might do it soon, we just never got around to do it.

you get it? she has a bank account, she can go there put money, withdraw money, recieve wires, ask for statements, cancel the account, change the type of account, everything.

with my parents it is the opposite, the bank account is in my mom's name, if they tried to travel to spain it would have been the same except it would be my mom who would get the visa and my dad who would be stuck.

you still don't get the main point, it is non of your business or the embassy's business "WHY" we do anything with our money or how we organize our finances, th embassy can ask about proof that we own some money (I don't like it but I accept it), but they are not our financial advisers, they are not our marriage councilors and if it's abot women lib then preventing manal from traveling won't help her much.

u made it to spain and it's's alarming to see how some people love to give advices when no one is asking for.u're right..IT IS NO ONE'S .. BUSINESS HOW you AND MANAL MANAGE OUR FINANCES .

by the way,congratulations for the awrd.

u deserve it guys!!

Power of attorney

Just thought I'd mention to ya Alaa

And everyone else - shut the hell up about how he and Manal manage their finances. In the West many couples have "joint" bank accounts where both of them are listed under 1 account or in many cases they setup a "power of attorney" OR tawkeel.


ok ok alaa calm down man >>>

and cogratultions for ur nice trip to barcelona, but realy i don't understand the real reason of the "Unwelcoming in spain" i feel some racism in the thing !!

may be

no racism at all

it was just a silly bureaucratic thing

on a side note, I suggest you both, alaa and manal, re-consider your one bank account. As Muslims, we should have separate financial identities.

I know this may not sound romantic as we like things to be, but Islam is never wrong.

It was proven thousands of times, a wife better get her properties, money, assets, under her own name. Same for the husband.

this on a very abstract level is not a bad advice, regardless of how islamic it is it is common sense, one has witnessed many marriages gone wrong no one person should be at a disadvantage when things go wrong.

and also minimizing sources of friction is the best way to avoid things going wrong aslan

but still, while the general advice is good no one but the couple in question knows all the details, sometimes it is not clear who owns what so official assignment of ownership has to be arbitrary.

and besides there is a difference between how one manages small money and how one manages big money (ed3olna bas we come across big money one day and we'll do whatever you want us to do).

You're right. It's nobody's business. I get offended, here in the US, when somebody asks to see my Driver's License (that's our ID) AND a valid credit card. A credit card is not ID. They ask for a credit card as pproof that you aren't a complete loser. I think it probably happens everywhere, Alaa. It's annoying, but what can be done? I just make sure they know I'm onto what they are doing, and that I don't like it, and then I either play the game, or I walk away.

Hope you're having a nice trip, btw :)

PS-interesting about Hoder. I bet he can thank Raed for that. The Department of Homeland Security seems to have finally heard about blogs. Because, really... if an Iraqi can support the insurgency on his blog, in Iraq, and then get into the US - we have no security.

yeah it's not about trust wala cultural imperialism wala beta3, when you obtain a foreign visa to a lot of countries they want to see numerous pieces of evidence that you will be leaving...and for all they know manal is just going to stay in spain since she ostensibly has no fiscal reason to return to egypt, especially since you went with her, alaa.

that is not a valid argument.

since I can simply withdraw this money from spain then the bank account does not prove I'm fiscally tied to Egypt.

the bit about sine I went with her make it also an inconsistent argument, how would me (the person who supposedly is fiscaly tied to Egypt) being with her make it more likely for her to stay in spain?

but that is anyways missing the whole point of the post, that as a married couple our assets might be shared, manal has money she just doesn't have a seperate bank account, it doesn't make any sense at all to grant me the visa and not grant her.

and you know what? I must be correct because after explaining this they did give her the visa, it just took talking to someone sane.

you know what? you don't - alaa it seems that u don't get it , they have rules , if u wanna go to their country respect their rules or don't go - they don't have to explain and u don't have to go , but at the end they gave u the visa, which means they have the ability to think, make different decisions and apply them - lets compare this to our country employees all over the world .....and cry out loud from the fact that some human beings can really not use their brain ever !

Hi all,

Im spanish and victim, same as you are, in all this kind of process. My boyfriend is egyptian and we try to get married since may 2005.

They gave us wrong information, tried to change my mind, talked to us with unpolite ways, they tried to solve everything slowly to make it harder... and finally Im afraid they can say "NO" to our marriage, same as they say "NO" to your visa.

Im sure this kind of process must change urgently, it´s unfair and hurt people. These rules don´t come from the spanish population, we can´t understand it.

I hope one day inshala, you both could get the visa. You are marhabam :)

but I preffer one world without visas...

I'm sorry to hear how hard it is, I'm sure it will work out in the end.

you should read The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif, there is a great scene that involves cross borders marriage and an embassy.

we did get the visa in the end and we fell in love with Barcelona. hope we'll manage to visit the rest of the country soon.

as for the world without visas, lessa showaya.

Thanks a lot for your support, I will read it.

Good news if you finally could go to Barcelona, sure its a very special city, probably 1 of the most beautiful ones in Spain and more romantic than Madrid ;)

Hope we could solve our problem soon inshala.

Keep you informed:)