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Meet UAE’s oldest man...

Lana Mahdi (Our staff reporter)
Filed on July 18, 2008

AL AIN — Nasir Al Hajry, a resident of Al Ain, could well lay his claim to being UAE’s oldest man — his age on his identity card says he is 135 years old.

According to Mohammed, grandson of Al Hajry, the family learnt of it only recently when the Al Ain Department of Naturalisation and Residency officially mentioned his age on the identity card as 135 years.

Hard of hearing due to his age, Al Hajry spoke to Khaleej Times through his grandson from Kuwait where he was on holiday. He said he remembers historical events that occurred more than a century ago such as the Tribes War in the Arab Island. Born in Saudi Arabia, he is in good health and has no chronic ailments of the current era, such as diabetes or hypertension.

“I managed to keep good health because I always believe in eating freshly cooked food. I look much younger than my age as I am still practising the bedouin lifestyle such as waking up early, drinking camel milk and eating dates daily,” he says.

A shepherd in his youth, recalls Al Hajry, he arrived in the UAE in the early 60s before the federation was formed.

Currently relaxing at home and visiting the mosque five times a day for prayers, he said that this is his only social activity.

“Since I was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, I had the privilege of also fighting the battles that took place between King Abdul Aziz bin Abdurrahman bin Faysal Al Saud and the princes of Hayel area, Al Rasheed in Saudi Arabia in 1901,” he added.

He claims to have participated in this war and was rewarded by King Abdul Aziz for his efforts during the war.

Al Hajry also attended the Arabian Revolution against Turkish imperialism in 1916 and the Arab Island's wars during the First World War (1914-1918).

So both a shepherd and a warrior, his spirits are still very high. Although, I live with all my eight grandchildren and one surviving son, I am not dependent on anybody.

Al Hajry married late at the age of 50. He had two wives, both his cousins, and four daughters and three sons. But, all my children specially the four daughters and one son died in an epidemic that swept the region early this century. One of the sons died in 2002 at the age of 73 while one of his sons is the only survivor who lives with him in a traditional Arab house in the Al Maqam area in Al Ain.

Al Hajry says he moved to the UAE in the early 60s and met with the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Al Hajry’s grandson Mohammed Salim Hussein Al Hajry says: “We are four grandsons and four granddaughters. I, along with my sisters and brothers, are living in my grandfather’s house in Al Maqam area here in Al Ain.”

Mohammed says his grandfather likes coffee and his only problem is asthma.

He added that Al Hajry likes Nabati poems (type of traditional poems in the UAE). Many people visit him to hear not only old poems but also stories of the bygone era.

Mohammed said that he is planning to contact Guinness Book of World Records to record his grandfather as the oldest man in the world.

lanamahdi@khaleejtimes.com





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