- Title: ALGERIA: QUIRKY - Salim Haini is the "man who eats everything"
- Date: 17th February 2009
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic/French) FATHIA, 56-YEAR-OLD AUDIENCE MEMBER, SAYING: "It is not difficult to feed him. I can give him raw potatoes, vegetables, bulbs but I will never invite him to a restaurant because he will ruin me"
- Embargoed: 4th March 2009 12:00
- Location: Algeria
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA607NSXFCD19P58WPWC5PC8O3T
- Story Text: Salim Haini is used to crowds gathering round him as he performs his incredible gastronomical feats. Light bulbs, nails, glass, plastic, newspapers; you name it, he'll eat it.
The 25-year-old Algerian likes to call himself "The Man Who Eats Everything", and he says he can munch his way into the Guinness World Records.
"My name is Salim Haini, dubbed "The Man Who Eats Everything". I am Algerian and I am 25 years old. I can eat anything. I eat glass, lamps, candles and wood. I can eat anything that the mind can conceive of," Haini told Reuters before a performance in an Algiers shopping mall.
Haini says he wants to be the first Arab to enter the Guinness World Records for "eating everything". Similar records are currently held by nationals of other countries.
France's "Mr Mangetout", Michel Lotito, holds the world title for "Strangest Diet" for eating glass and metal; while Britain's Ken Edwards snared the title for "Most Cockroaches Eaten" in March 2001, after eating 36 cockroaches in one minute.
Another contender to recently emerge is 36-year-old Rakesh "Cobra" Narayan from Fiji. Narayan is also trying to set a world record for eating everything. According to the Fiji Times, some of the things Narayan has consumed include insects, shoes, clothes, a broken tube light and metres of binding wire.
But despite the intense international competition, Haini believes he can make it.
"I wish to be registered in the Guinness World Records as the first Arab who can eat everything. It will be an honour for me and for the people of my country, Algeria, and all the Arabs," he said, adding that he can eat 500 boiled eggs and has eaten a sheep of 35 kilogrammes.
The audience was aghast at some of the things they saw Haini chew and swallow. 56-year-old Fathia says at least he's not picky about food.
"It is not difficult to feed him. I can give him raw potatoes, vegetables, bulbs, but I will never invite him to a restaurant because he will ruin me," she said.
Asked if she would ever invite him to dinner, another audience member said it would be too hard to satisfy his appetite.
"I cannot invite him because he eats a lot," said Salima.
Haini has won many national records in his home country, but his ultimate goal is to get international recognition.
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