Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Somali man, 112, weds girl, 17

I first heard this story on BBC World Radio and later was able to find it on BBC Africa. It is about Ahmed Muhamed Dore, a 112 year old Somali man, who wanted a younger wife who could bear him more kids. His new wife, Safia Abdulleh, is 17 years old! She is young enough to be his great-great-grand-daughter! They both live in the same village and “he had waited for her to grow up to propose.” Mr. Dore already has 5 wives and 114 children and grandchildren combined, but it is not enough for him. This marriage is described “as the first of its kind in the Horn of Africa nation for more than a century.” The reactions to this marriage have been mixed. Some people disapprove of it and others say that is OK under Islamic law. Mr. Dore says, “It is a blessing to have someone you love to take care of you.”

My first reaction to this story was uncontrollable laughter which turned into horror! I was also 17 when I got married but not to a 112 year old man! From his last comment I can see that he wanted someone to love him, but could he not find someone closer to his age? Why look for a girl who is 95 years his junior? He wants more children? Isn’t having 114 kids and grandkids not enough for him?

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