Maimouna Al-Amine, the beloved and celebrated Lebanese centenarian, and most probably the oldest human to have ever lived, just passed away, on June 29th, at the extraordinary age of 130 years.
Up to yesterday, the oldest person officially declared ever to live was Jeanne Louise Calment of France, “who was born on Feb. 21, 1875 and died at 122 years and 164 days,” according to Global News.
Born in the late 19th century (1890), Maimouna Al-Amine was, despite the advanced age she reached, known to have stayed very lively, energetic, funny, and quite healthy, even well into her 120s.
Interestingly, by 2014, she had only been to Beirut twice. The last time was when she went to do Umrah in Saudi Arabia that year, which is in itself a remarkable feat for a 124-year-old.
Moreover, considering she lived such a long life, Maimouna Al-Amine retained a good memory throughout it.
By the time the Akkar-born Lebanese reached 55, she had already witnessed the Ottoman Empire in its final days of glory, its fall in WWI, the French Mandate for Lebanon, WWII, and Lebanon’s independence.
In all of the aforementioned historical eras, she told Lebanese TV Presenter Malik Maktabi, whose show was the reason behind her third visit to Beirut, in 2015, that she experienced many difficult phases.
Al-Amine had been exposed to the harsh life of labor ever since she was a young girl. She said that, as a minor, she worked in reaping crops, shepherding, and many other, work-intensive jobs.
She recalled the time when her family disguised her father in a dress and hid him in haystacks to avoid his conscription by the Ottoman military during the Seferberlik mobilization in WWI.
She also humorously mentioned to Maktabi the time when she, as a young girl, took initiative and “kidnapped” her lover to take him to her parents’ house so they could meet him.
The centenarian said that she carried him on her back when he got tired on the way to her parent’ house.
By the time she surpassed 100 years of age, she had already given up on trying to count how many grand-grand-children she had.
Two years ago, Maimouna Al-Amine was admitted to intensive care in a hospital after suffering from extreme exhaustion and kidney failure. However, she was quick to recover, and merrily returned to her house in Dababieh, Akkar.
Recently, she got hospitalized again, sometime after breaking her hip, only to leave her old house behind for good this time.
Notably, her aging body remained resilient late into her final years and only rarely required medical attention.
Despite defying all odds and reaching the age she reached and being Lebanon’s – and the world’s – oldest person, as many insist, Maimouna Al-Amine’s remarkable life did not receive the recognition it deserved from the world.
According to Guinness World Records, “the greatest fully authenticated age to which any human has ever lived” is 122 years and 164 days. It should be, therefore, safe to assume that Lebanon just lost the oldest human to ever live!