Somali Man, 112, Marries 17-Year-Old Girl
(Oct. 29) - A Somali man who claims to be 112 years old has married for the sixth time, and he hopes to have children with his 17-year-old bride.
Hundreds of people attended the wedding this week in the town of Guriceel in central Somalia, according to reports Thursday by the BBC as well as in The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian newspapers.
"Today God helped me realize my dream," groom Ahmed Muhamed Dore said, according to The Guardian.
The bride, Safia Abdulleh, did not comment, but her family said she was "happy with her new husband" -- even though he is nearly a century her senior.
BBC reporter Mohammed Olad Hassan, who is based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, said Dore told him he was born in 1897 and he has a traditional birth certificate, written on a goat skin by his father.
Dore has 13 children by his five previous wives. His oldest son is 80. Three of his wives have died, but the remaining two consented to the new wedding, as did the bride's parents and the groom's children.
Altogether, Dore has 114 children and grandchildren.
But he said he hopes to have more children with his new wife, who is young enough to be his great-great-granddaughter.
"It is a blessing to have someone you love to take care of you," he said, according to the BBC.
In 1941, Dore joined the British colonial forces as a solider, where he served for 10 years, the BBC said. After Somalia gained independence in 1960, he became a police officer.
Although it's not unusual for Somali girls to marry older men, the reports cited historians in the Horn of Africa nation as saying this wedding was the first marriage with such a great age disparity in more than a century.
Dore said he and his bride are from the same village, and he waited for her to grow up.
"I didn't force her, but used my experience to convince her of my love, and then we agreed to marry," he said.