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124 year old Palestinian grandmother reportedly refused recognition due to hijab

She refused to "commit a sinful act" even for the Guinness World Records.

Source : Gulf News / 28 Dec 2012

124-year-old Palestinian Maryam Hamdan Ammash, who according to relatives was “undoubtedly the oldest woman in world”, died last Saturday, Gulf News reported.

The report stated that relatives of the highly respected grandmother said that she was denied world record recognition, despite having official documents confirming her birth in 1888; and having been visited by a team of Guinness investigators, because she refused to remove her hijab (Muslim headscarf) for a television appearance as stipulated by Guinness.

Maryam’s family members reportedly said that the formidable lady, who had performed the Haj (Pilgrimage) five times in her lifetime as well as several Umrahs, simply refused “to commit a sinful act” (removal of her hijab) even for the Guinness World Records.

Her relatives have pledged to pursue what they regard is their grand (and great, great, great) grandmother’s right to world recognition.

It is not immediately clear why a Muslim lady would be denied such recognition just because of her hijab.

Maryam, who was regarded as a pillar of her community with an estimated 600 descendants, served as mentor, medic, and counselor among other things in the village of Jisr Al Zarqa’a, near Haifa. She was said to be a simple but active person who lived a very traditional lifestyle, maintained a natural and indigenous Palestinian diet, and who did not embrace technology.

She is mourned by many the world over.


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