Gerontology Wiki
Mariam Amash
Mariam Amash
Mariam Amash with her ID card.
Birth: 1 July 1888?
Jisr az-Zarqa, Ottoman Empire (now Haifa District, Israel)
Death: 22 December 2012
Jisr az-Zarqa, Haifa District, Israel
Age: 124 years, 171 days?
Country: Israel ISR
Longevity claimant

Mariam Amash [Arabic: مريم عماش‎; Hebrew: מרים עמאש] (1 July 1888? – 22 December 2012) was an Israeli longevity claimant whose alleged age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). At the time of her death, she claimed to be the world’s oldest living person, as well as the oldest person ever.


According to her Ottoman Empire-issued birth certificate, Mariam Amash was born on 1 July 1888 near Jisr az-Zarqa, in Ottoman Empire (now Haifa District, Israel). She lived in Jisr az-Zarqa most of her life.

In February 2008, Amash was reported as being "remarkably sprightly", with 10 children, 120 grandchildren, 250 great-grandchildren and 20–30 great-great-grandchildren. Amash said the key to longevity is a healthy diet abundant in vegetables. In particular, she attributed her own longevity to drinking olive oil every day, avoiding alcohol, and eating a local herb Palestinians often use in salads. She also stated that she expected to live "another ten years".

Amash had bad hearing and could only recall portions of the past at a time, making her difficult to interview. In a 2008 interview with Al Jazeera English, she recalled the Ottomans as being "nice", but disliked the British when they took over in 1917, and was satisfied with life in modern-day Israel, especially with her government-provided social security. A devout Muslim, she made the Hajj to Mecca five times.

Mariam Amash died in Jisr az-Zarqa, Haifa District, Israel on 22 December 2012, at the claimed age of 124 years, 171 days.

Age Issues

In February 2008, when Amash applied to renew her identity card using her Ottoman Empire-issued birth certificate, Israeli officials confirmed that she was listed in the Israeli population registry as having been born in 1 July 1888, although they were unsure if it is correct.

In 2008, it was reported that Amash's youngest son was 54. If her age claim were true, it would indicate that she gave birth to him at the age of 66.

The Guinness World Records, the group who authorizes the "official" oldest living person record, has not yet validated (nor have they invalidated) her claim. If Amash's birthdate were verified, she would become the oldest person ever, surpassing Jeanne Calment.