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World's Oldest Woman Found Alive and Well In Israel

By Michelle Duffy     Feb 21, 2008 in World
Thought to be the world's oldest person, Israel's Mariam Amash, who is 120 years old, is alive and well and surrounded by her family -- all four generations of them, and the most recent one has just arrived
There is, as confirmed by The Guinness Book of Records, a 114 year old woman from Indiana, by the name of Edna Parker, who lives comfortably in the small town of Shelbyville in the U.S, but the wise old words from the 120 year old Mariam Amash from Northern Israel in the humble surroundings of Jisr az-Zarqa, shrugs off this "youngster" as she claims to be the world's oldest person instead.
Maiam has recently celebrated the arrival of yet another generation - an event in her life, she has more than got used to over the decades. She cuddles the one week old child who is her great, great, grandchild - one of hundreds.
The 120 year old woman told BBC News,
"Yes, I am the oldest person in the world. I eat, I drink, and I take showers. I hope to keep going for another 10 years."
She is certainly much loved by her 120 grandchildren, 250 great grandchildren and 30 great great grandchildren - which makes Christmas a tad on the expensive side no doubt for this pioneering woman. There must be a birthday in her family every day of the year.
For a woman who has very little around her in the way of radio and television and other forms of new media, it is surprising to learn of her extraordinary years, yet she was only discovered quite by chance when she recently applied for a new identity card. She was duly issued her new card by the authorities who spotted her rather unusual birth certificate - it was issued by Turkish authorities who had ruled the area around 120 years ago.
The Muslim lady is surprisingly active despite her ancient age, she is faithful to her religion, only making her last pilgrimage to Mecca in 1990, making her life total, five trips.
Speaking on behalf of his fantastic grandmother, Majid Amash, 46 said,
"She rises every morning around five for prayers. She then goes for a walk and then spends most of her day with the family. She recognises all of us."
And as for the secret to her long life? Vegetables. She also has a thing or two to say about the younger generations - she blames their behaviour and short lives on alcohol.
She will eventually get her name in the Guinness book, but she has to apply. Writers at the book's publishers are ready with pens poised, although they are still waiting for the Amash family to sent in the right documentation.
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