, RIYADH, May 8 – Saad al-Qahtani was driving in the western Saudi desert between Mecca and Jeddah one day 18 years ago when his beloved Chevrolet Suburban broke down.
He couldn\’t fix it, so he did the next best thing: he stayed there and made it his home.
The 61-year-old man\’s parents and sisters had all passed away by that time, according to the Saudi Gazette on Saturday.
He had lost his security guard job for health reasons, tried cattle ranching but the livestock all went missing, so he began driving on odd jobs in the area until the fateful day when the huge red-and-white SUV gave in.
Instead of calling a mechanic, he decided to make it his permanent home. The tires have long since crumbled off the rims, but he lays carpets on the sand outside the driver-side door where he sits, receiving guests.
"I get what food and drink I can from passers-by and the owners of cattle pens in the area," he told the newspaper.
"I\’ve never been married, and although I want to, I just don\’t have the means to provide a stable married life. How can someone like me get married and have children and provide for them?"
But he was happy to be healthy, and live in the quiet desert. "It\’s good to be far away from the hustle and bustle of the city," he said.