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.

 


Unmapped roads raise risk to Southeast Asian rainforests — study

An aerial photo of a road running through an palm plantation in Dumai, Riau, Sumatra island, Indonesia. (Antara Foto/Rony Muharrman/via REUTERS/File)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Unmapped roads raise risk to Southeast Asian rainforests — study

  • Researcher Alice Hughes found that roads have penetrated areas previously considered untouched and unreachable by vehicles.
  • An average of 75 percent of roads in five countries were missing from OpenStreetMap (OSM), a mapping platform widely used by researchers and academics.

KUALA LUMPUR: Forests in parts of Southeast Asia face greater threats than previously thought because researchers often rely on data that ignores new roads, which are precursors to deforestation and development, a study shows.
The paper, published this month by the journal Biological Conservation, showed that an average of 75 percent of roads in five countries were missing from OpenStreetMap (OSM), a mapping platform widely used by researchers and academics.
“Large-scale forest clearance is preceded by the growth of road networks, which provide a stark warning for the region’s future,” the study said.
Author Alice Hughes, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, studied a total of 277,281 square kilometers by analyzing satellite images and maps showing forest loss and coverage, as well as agriculture concessions.
She found that roads have penetrated areas previously considered untouched and unreachable by vehicles.
“We are deluding ourselves that we still have large tracts of inaccessible, pristine forest, when the reality is highly-fragmented, very accessible forests,” Hughs said on Friday.
Her research examined road networks in parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
“In some parts of the region, up to 99 percent of roads on those global maps, which are used as the basis for a huge amount of further analysis, are not included,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Deforestation and development of forests in the area studied have occurred at a rapid pace since 2000, said Hughes, while maps used by researchers do not regularly update their road data.
“Most of the time these roads are just providing access to forests and up to 99 percent of deforestation is within 2.5 km of road,” she said. “They are clearly the access method.”
She added that the region urgently needs better protection and enforcement for its remaining forests.
Indonesia, which is the world’s biggest palm oil producer, introduced a forest clearing moratorium in 2011 to help reduce deforestation.
Hughes said the ban should be expanded beyond just land designated as natural, untouched primary forest to include all high biodiversity forests.
Hughes’ research methodology should be used to determine whether the same patterns exist in other parts of the world, said Christopher Martius, team leader for climate change at the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research.
“It is surprising that nobody ever did that before, and it is shocking that the result shows we grossly underestimated the possible threat to tropical forests from road building,” he said by email.