Manama: A Bahraini prince has stepped in to rescue a homeless family of seven forced to live in a rented car.
Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the chairman of the Royal Charity Foundation, offered a house to the Bahraini mother and her six children after hearing about their plight and how they were kicked out of their home and had nowhere to go.
The needs and school requirements of the children, aged between four and 16, should be met to help them and their mother live in dignity, Shaikh Nasser ordered.
Foundation officials told the homeless family that they would give them funds to rent a house until their home is ready.
The foundation will also give the family money monthly to help them live in adequate conditions, local Arabic daily Al Watan reported on Tuesday.
Om Abdullah, the mother, said that she was deeply moved by the decision of Shaikh Nasser, the son of King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, to assist her homeless family and rescue all its members from the relentless onslaught of difficult circumstances on them.
She added that during her painful quest for assistance that stretched nine months, she did not seek help from the Royal Charity Foundation, but did knock on several other doors.
However, after her story was published on Monday in Al Watan, Om Abdullah said that she received several offers from institutions and people, including MP Ibtisam Hijris, to assist her move with her family into an adequate accommodation.
"I am really pleased with the quick and emotional reactions that reached me," she said. "It is an indication of how generous and helpful Bahrainis are."
Om Abdullah said that she and her six children had been forced out of their home by her former husband whom she accused of being often drunk and of assaulting her. "During one assault, he stabbed me and my daughter," she said.
“The car has become our small home after no-one could help solve our case. My former husband and father of our six children is an alcoholic who has threatened to kill me after he assaulted me with a knife. We have not been back to the house since the incident and he did not provide us with the money to pay for renting a house despite the ruling by a court,” she told Al Watan.
She said that their hardship in living in a car was compounded by the pressing matters related to the start of the new academic year on Sunday.
“We are suffering and we wonder how we can get ready for the new school year while we are in such a poor state. We also wonder why we cannot have a house and if the concerned authorities in the country accept that a family lives in a car by the sea and remains ominously exposed to dangers and risks of theft,” she said before she was offered full assistance by the foundation.
Om Abdullah said that she had explained her case to several institutions and that she filed 16 complaints against her former husband to have him arrested for stabbing her in three different parts of her body.
“He refused to show up and he had threatened to kill me. I have refused to back down and withdraw the complaint. He had repeatedly kicked me out of the house with my children while he was drunk. His insolence reached unfathomable levels when he brought into the house a stranger and a woman and I saw them engaged in an immoral act. He is a sick drunkard,” she said.
A court has ruled their divorce four months ago.
The family was able to survive thanks to some donations that have helped them to pay for the rent of the car and to buy some basic commodities, she said.
The children told the daily that they were worried about the future.
“We clean up with water in mosques and sometimes take showers in the house of our mother’s friend whenever there is an opportunity,” they said.
The house of their grandmother is too small to accommodate all of them and no other person can take in seven people, they said.