A Palestinian from Gaza has 42 children and about 350 grandchildren

compensated his lack of siblings by giving birth to 42 sons and daughters who celebrated with his grandchildren on International Father's Day, to constitute a rare case in the Palestinian territories.

Al-Masri, 67, of Beit Hanoun, a town in the northern Gaza Strip, gave birth to his sons from five wives, two of whom divorced, while three of them remained pending.

The children of Al-Masry ranged in age from six months to 49 years, while the number of his grandchildren reached 350, forming a huge family that does not repeat much.

As strange as his condition is, Al-Masry says he is proud of so many children while others complain of having more than three or four children.

"We are able to make ourselves happy, and we can overcome the obstacles we face in life in order to create a young and conscious generation who has the ability to build their community and country," he added as he mediated 20 of his children.

Al-Masry, who works in commerce, notes that he is the only son of his mother who wanted to have many children in order to form a large family "that can support me in life."

He explains that he decided from the first day to give birth to the largest number of children and to follow a specific strategy in raising them, even if they are from different mothers, to collect them on the same approach and principle that he follows in his life.

It highlights that the Islamic religion allows a man to marry four women at one time, in the event that he is fair and able to form this huge family, stressing that he follows Islamic teachings in dealing with his wives without favoring any of them without the other.

One of his wives in his thirties, who was nicknamed the mother of Muhammad, says that she "has never felt that she suffers from polygamy for her husband, who has emerged as characterized by dealing with women as a wife, son, sister and friend."

She adds, "A person can look at the half full of the cup instead of paying attention to the negatives of each case, and while we may seem to some that we are a strange family or not in harmony with each other, but the leadership of my husband to his family is the basis."

Usually, the Egyptian meets with his sons, daughters, wives and grandchildren all to eat the weekly food, in order to keep in direct contact with them and to be closer to his sons and grandchildren at the same time.

On June 21 of this year, the world celebrates the International Father's Day, with children sharing pictures of their parents and congratulations on social media.

Al-Masry considers that the role of fatherhood is not limited to childbearing only, but rather to raising children "whatever the number that gives birth to him, as long as he controls all aspects of his life."

But Al-Masry’s mission is not easy, as he says that he needs $ 200 a day for the daily expenses of his extended family, noting that “the situation at the present time has changed from what it was in the past and economic matters are getting worse.”

And upon the voices of a group of children who were having fun and playing with each other, 12-year-old Mohammed Al-Masri knows of an eight-year-old girl as his "aunt" and says, "This is my aunt Zina, although she is a lot younger than me."

"People are surprised at how I raise this number of sons and daughters, and they think that I neglect them or not even care about their living conditions, but the opposite is true," said Al-Masry, the father, while watching the children.

"We, as Palestinians, have origins in life, the most important of which is respect and the good word," he added.

It indicates that the Palestinian society is a young community, where it will be able to determine its fate with armaments, scientific progress and graduation of generations able to build its society.

The percentage of youth (18-29 years) in Palestine was about 23% of the total population (1.13 million), according to a statistical report issued by the Palestinian Statistics Center in 2019 in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hamza al-Masri, 33, who is a father of three, says that his father formed a large family and gave each of his sons a role and responsibilities in order to promote solidarity and solidarity among all its members.

He adds, "When we meet or walk together on the street, we feel that we are an independent entity with its own distinctive feature, not only from the large number of individuals, but also by the solidarity between us."


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