15 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch woman Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, 113, might lose her title as the world’s oldest woman following claims that a 126-year-old Lebanese woman, Hamida Musulmani, deserves the crown.
Van Andel-Schipper was hailed on 29 May as the oldest person in the world following the death of 114-year-old Puerto Rican Ramona Trinidad Iglesias-Jordan. She was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest person.
But British news agency Reuters has reported it sighted documents indicating that Musulmani, who works on her family’s farm on a farm in southern in Lebanon, is 126 years old, having been born in 1877.
It said the documents originated from the census held in 1932. Local authorities claim the documents are authentic and evidence dating prior to the census does not exist, news agency ANP reported.
Van Andel-Schipper’s claims to the title were previously questioned when a Russian journalist claimed that Hanna Barysevich of Belarus was the world’s oldest person. Barysevich lives in a hut in Kuravsovshina, near the capital Minsk.
Despite the fact that Barysevich was three years older than Puerto Rican Iglesias-Jordan, she was not listed in the official records. But a Russian journalist claims that Barysevich was born on 5 May 1888 in Buda, a village near Minsk.
The journalist has studied her passport and said the woman never applied to the Guinness Book of Records because she had never heard of it.
A spokeswoman for the records book said earlier this month that Van Andel-Schipper, who was born on 29 June 1890, is currently officially the world’s oldest person, but active investigations will be conducted into Barysevich’s title claims.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news