Hassina: Eldest Woman on Earth GUINNESS: WHERE ARE YOU? [Archives:2001/01/Last Page]

December 31 2001

Hassina Nasser Mohammed from Raida, Amran governorate, is likely to be the eldest woman in the world. She has lived all the changes that have occurred throughout the history of Yemen since the second half of the 19th century and is still in fine fettle.
According to the residents of Raida, Hassina has lived a long life reaching 140 years according to Muslims Calendar, i.e. 137 years according to the Gregorian Calendar.
It is worthwhile to mention that according to the Guinness World Record the longest living woman is Jeanne Loise Calment who is 122 years old, a record that has been broken by Hassina whose age exceeds Calments by 15 years.
Hassinas relatives all died, except some of her relatives’ grandchildren who compete with one another to look after her either out of virtue or seeking her blesses that they think is accepted by God. The youngest of her relatives’ grandchildren lives with her, taking care of her without even a sense of boredom or resentment. Some people from the village also look after her such as Hamadi Thaiban, a school teacher, who spent more than five years taking care of her.
In any place in Raida, its small lanes and alleys, deprived like many similar areas of the simplest facilities, you can ask about Hassina. The young, as well as the old will positively respond to you and tell you about this old lady. They will guide you to where she lives, as well.
Husseinas parents died while she was a child. She depended on her small farm and on pasturing goats to earn her living. Despite her long age, one feels amazed at her golden memory and her sound mental health.
Interestingly, Hassina remains a confirmed maiden. She has never tried to look for a man to protect her. She has never left her village. She used to go on foot or on donkey to go to different places in the village. Her great home is Raida in which she lives in great harmony among the Muslims and Jews alike.
As far as food is concerned, Hassina is vegetarian. She eats tomatoes, bread and other vegetables. She said she had never had ghee or any kind of manufactured oil or cheese. She never smokes or chews Qat. She has never visited a doctor or had medicine.
The main reason for her long-lived age according to what she said is the fact that her mind had never been engrossed with matrimonial life.
Recalling the old days, she enthusiastically loves to tell how much she admired the Turkish soldiers touring the village on horsebacks. They were kind and generous to me, she said.
Hassina has never listened to the radio or watched TV. She has no interest in politics. Her only concern is Raida and its people. As a true Muslim, she donated all what she has to renew the Great Mosque in Raida area which is about to collapse, a move that has been highly appreciated by the people of village.
One thousand rials has been allocated to help improve her health condition. Despite her sickness with anemia owing to malnutrition, she repeatedly refuses to take medicine.
Recently, Hassina starts to feel bored of life. Maybe, she begins to feel the bitterness of loneliness.
Mohammed Bin Sallam
Yemen Times