Parklife: Saudi family move into Medina park due to soaring rent
Omar Yousuf and his family. (Image courtesy of Gulf News)
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A family of seven forced to live in a park in Medina in Saudi Arabia could soon see an end to their plight following a pledge by a social affairs official to help them.
Omar Yousuf, a Saudi, said that his family had to leave their home after they could no longer afford to pay the rent. Omar took his children Abdul Rahman, 15, Luma, 12, Lian, 11, Yousuf, five, Yara, three, and Yasmeen, one, to a public park in the city, to live under the scorching sun, local Arabic daily Al Madina reported. His wife moved back to her parents’ house.
“I do not have enough since my salary is not enough to meet all the financial demands,” Omar told the daily. “I had taken out a loan from a company for my brother and a loan from a bank to buy a car and pay the rents. I also borrowed money from friends. I now need to give back around 500,000 riyals (Dh489,539). I do not have that kind of money and in fact I cannot even rent a flat that would protect me and my children,” he said.
Ideas that crossed his mind to help him out of the financial crisis included offering his one-year-old daughter up for adoption.
“I thought about the possibility because if a rich family adopted her, I would receive some money that I would spend on my children,” he said. “Right now, I have nothing. I have been kicked out of the rented house for not being able to pay and I am forced to live in a public park. Life is too expensive and I cannot provide a roof for my children.”
Omar added that he had applied to receive a plot of land from the government, but would have to wait for his turn.
“It is very painful for us and we are forced to live in a public park where I moved my furniture and some household items,” he said.
A social expert is expected to assess the situation and report to the head of social affairs in Medina, the daily said.
“If the family has a financial issue, then charitable associations will contribute to solving it,” Hatem Barri said.