Saudi marries 14 times hoping for a child

Updated 20 August 2012
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Saudi marries 14 times hoping for a child

A Saudi man hailing from the northern city of Arar has set a record by marrying 14 times during the last 37 years. Mutlaq Sulaiman, 53, said he wedded 14 women with the hope of getting a child. According to a report carried by Al-Watan Arabic daily on Saturday, Sulaiman’s wives belonged to various nationalities and different age groups. He married ladies older than him by 23 years and younger than him by 36 years. The youngest of Sulaiman’s wives was a Syrian lady who he married when she was 17. “Our married life continued for two years, but her family later forced me to divorce her,” he pointed out.

Sulaiman, a government employee working at the Education Department in the Northern Border Province, married his first wife from his neighborhood when he was 16. When his first wife failed to give birth to a child, his family, including his wife, compelled him to marry another woman, but he refused. But 14 marriages later, he was never lucky enough to have a single child. Sulaiman would occasionally divorce one of his wives, never keeping more than four wives at a time. The longest period he spent married to any one wife was eight years, while the shortest was two years. He had also given between SR 40,000 to SR 150,000 as dowry to his wives. In his family, except for his father who married five women, no one married more than once. Sulaiman married his last wife two years ago and is still living with her. She insists that she would continue to live with him to fulfill his dream of having a baby bearing his name. He is now undergoing treatment for infertility.

 


Singapore’s deaf ‘bird whisperer’ forms rare bond with feathered friends

Updated 53 min 45 sec ago
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Singapore’s deaf ‘bird whisperer’ forms rare bond with feathered friends

SINGAPORE: Deaf since childhood, Razali Bin Mohamad Habidin has developed a closer bond with the creatures under his care than any other keeper at Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park, where other staff refer to him simply as the “bird whisperer.”
Razali, who lost 80 percent of his hearing after falling ill as a baby, started working at the park over two decades ago, and has risen to the position of deputy head avian keeper.
He communicates with the birds through grunts, gestures and body languages and said that he recognizes the birds by their “behaviors and personalities.”
“All of them are my friends,” he added, communicating through a mix of gestures and Malay.
Other staff at the park have dubbed the 48-year-old “the bird whisperer” — after Hollywood film “The Horse Whisperer,” starring Robert Redford as a trainer with a gift for understanding horses.
“He has a way of communicating with the birds that very few of us can,” said assistant curator Angelin Lim. “Just by a look, he knows whether or not the bird is well.”
Communication with his colleagues can be more challenging than with the birds.
Razali leads about a dozen staff and giving them instructions usually involves him making various complex hand gestures, and then reading the lips of his colleagues when they respond.
His way with the creatures at the park, which is home to more than 5,000 birds from parrots to hornbills, was on display as he brought a snack of palm fruits into an enclosure filled with parrots.
The hyacinth macaws, the world’s largest parrots, stopped squawking and watched him curiously before following him.
One of the giant birds perched on his shoulder, playfully rubbed his finger with its beak — a sign of trust and affection — and ate out of his hand.