Passers by in a busy street in the Saudi capital Riyadh look with curiosity at a man and his wife who turned a building corner on the pavement into their house. The two, looking poor and untidy, blame the jinn (spirits) for their ordeal.
Their open-air accommodation does not have any of the modern life facilities except for their mattress, blankets, pillows and a few cups and water bottles.
As if to underscore their problem, the two Saudi citizens chose to squat a corner which is just across the road from the government grievances court, which is daily flooded by hundreds of people seeking justice.
The unshaven Mansoor looks as if he has not had a bath for weeks while his wife’s sight is weakening almost every day and she will eventually become blind in the absence of medical care, according to a Saudi newspaper.
“I am under magic spell because of what has befallen me,” said the lean, brown man, quoted by the Arabic language daily Sabq.
Mansoor said he had a house before he was sacked “without any reason” from his job at the ministry of finance. He now has no house and has been deprived from his pension “for some reason.”
Although his wife kept interrupting him to shut up, he went on:”I have a son from another wife and he is now 20 years old…but I don’t see him….I also have 16 brothers but they are useless as they never tried to help me…I have been to many government departments for help but they refused to help,” he said.
“I then got a job as a security man but they later sacked me…I then got a job as a school bus driver but again they sacked me shortly later saying I am no good…I then decided to sell fruit and vegetable but government inspectors came and impounded my stuff…one day, a person I don’t know came to me and said he would help but he never come back…I am sure I am haunted with jinns.”
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