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Saudi man weds 13-year-old, plans 60 marriages

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March 18, 2004 08:54 IST

A Saudi man aged 64 has wed a 13-year-old girl, celebrating his 58th marriage, and plans to take two more wives, according to a Saudi newspaper.

Saleh al-Saiari, a shepherd turned businessman, told the daily Asharq Al-Awsat that he would 'resort to the usual draw' to choose which of his current four wives he will drop before marrying again.

The young girl he married just a month ago is among the four, one of whom must go since Saiari can keep only four wives at a time under Islamic law.

"I plan to round off (my married life) with a 60th wedding," said Saiari, noting he got married for the first time at age 14.

Saiari said he was 'in very good health' after his 58 marriages, from which he has a total of 36 children.

He said his wives included both 'university graduates and illiterate women', adding that he preferred 'modern spouses because they are educated'.

Many men take more than one wife in the conservative Gulf Arab monarchies, ending up with large families.

A father of 63 in the United Arab Emirates married for the 12th time last year, choosing an 18-year-old as his bride in the hope of eventually fathering 100 and figuring in the Guinness book of records.