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Million Riyal Award to Uproot ‘Possessed’ Date Palm
The offending date palm at the construction site in Jeddah. (Al-Yaum)
JEDDAH — A local Saudi investor has offered a reward of SR1 million to anyone who can remove a date palm from outside a mall currently under construction, Al-Yaum daily reported yesterday.
The date palm is in the middle of what is meant to be a parking area for the mall. The offer sounds fantastic and many people will wonder why so much money is being offered for what should be a simple job.
Many attempts have been made to remove the tree but all efforts have failed. Workers used tractors to pull the tree but they failed to dislodge it. Then they tried to cut it down but that too proved impossible. Surprised, when the tractor failed to uproot the tree, the project manager ordered a bigger one to do the job but it failed as well.
Finally, a number of religious sheiks told the builder not to remove the date palm as a family of jinn lived under it and that was the reason all efforts to remove it had failed. The tree, it seems, is protected by the jinn, which live under it.
Workers have also reported that the job did not go as expected — especially since attempts were made to move the tree. A security guard said that weird things had begun to happen and he pointed to the second floor from which he said a worker had fallen and died.
The tree is still there and the offer still stands. So, if you are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, grab your axes and chainsaws and head on down the site.