Written By: Zaid al-Alaya’a
Article Date: Nov 12, 2011 - 7:14:06 AM
Fatima Mohammed al-Hamdani, a 128 year-old woman died today in Yemen, making her the oldest centenarians not only in the country but the region. She was married twice and had four daughters and one son.
Her eldest daughter is now 77. Fatima al-Hamdani had more than 90 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. According to Jihad Yahya Aiadh, one of her grandsons, Fatima used to walk every day until 4 years ago when her health confined her to her house.
She used to sell sweets and candies to children. According to family members, she was always very particular about having her breakfast at 6 O’clock sharp, as she considered it was the most important meal of the day.
They added that she only ate lamb whenever she was eating meat as it was her favorite. “As far as I remember, she never ate anything from the streets or restaurants and all her food was based on organic products.
” The old lady who was born in Sana’a was well known for her independent spirit as all her life she only relied on herself and her work ethic to provide for her family.
By buying small cheap merchandize she was able to generate an income, walking often for long hours.
According to another of her grandsons, Mohammed al-Siri, she never took any medicine such as pills or syrups adding that all of her medications were based on herbs and traditional remedies. “She did not eat chicken or any another sorts of meat, only lamb.
She witnessed many things in the history of Yemen and was even alive during the Ottomans occupation,” said al-Siri. The family refused to hand out a picture of Fatima, saying it went against the family traditions, adding that it wasn’t proper for women in Yemen to uncover their faces to strangers.
All Fatima’s neighbors agreed that she was a lovely, sociable lady who will be missed dearly as she always was so kind to her community.
Maybe most interestingly yet, Fatima gave birth to her last child at the age of 55, which in Yemen is extremely rare and rather unconventional. Last but not least Fatima outlived four generations of her family, as her daughter had herself a daughter who had a daughter who is now married; leaving behind great great grandchildren.
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