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SAUDI ARABIA Saudi man marries 14 times in baby attempt

Marriages spanning 37 years involved younger, older women from different nationalities

By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
August 18, 2012

Manama: A Saudi man has married 14 times in 37 years in an attempt to father a baby, but his dream has failed to turn into reality.

Mutlaq Sulaiman, 53, got married the first time when he was 16, but had to take another wife after three years later under tremendous pressure from his family keen on a baby.

The second marriage launched a string of weddings with women from different age groups and nationalities with the specific aim of having a baby who would carry his name, Saudi Arabic daily Al Watan reported on Saturday.

Mutlaq, a simple employee in the general directorate for education in the northern borders area, has reportedly outperformed his father who married five times and his brothers who got married only once.

One of his wives was 23 years older than him while another, a Syrian national, was 36 years younger. He said that he deeply loved the Syrian wife, but had to divorce her after her family whom she was visiting in Syria prevented her from returning to him on the grounds that they were unable to have a baby. His formal complaint was rejected by a Syrian court that imposed the divorce.

He married his latest wife two years ago, and he refuses to divorce her. He has promised to get the necessary treatment in order to have the much-coveted baby, the daily said.

“I never thought that I would end up marrying 14 times, but I did because I deeply wanted a baby. I was 16 when I married a relative and never thought I would take another wife,” he said. “In fact, my first wife encouraged me to marry again so that I could have a baby.”

Mutlaq said that the longest period he spent with the same wife was eight years. “It was with my first wife,” he said. The shortest period was two years.

He recalled with fondness his marriage with the Syrian woman.

“She is an excellent and highly capable woman who knew how to run the house with great aptitude. She was at the same time an outstanding wife who knew how to treat her husband,” he said.

He added that he divorced his Jordanian wife after only two years after she insisted on leaving him.

“She wanted to marry another man, driven by the hope that she would have a baby with him,” he said.

The highest dowry he paid was ($40,000) (Dh146,920) while the lowest, offered to his Syrian wife, was ($10,665) (Dh39,172).

Most online readers reacted with compassionate messages of sympathy and prayers for his wish to be fulfilled. However, some readers suspected that the “fiancées” were not told about the sexual problem before the marriage and urged more openness.

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