Saudi beggar dies leaving behind $1m fortune
Jeddah, March 20, 2014
A 100-year-old woman, who had spent the majority of her adult life begging, has died in Jeddah leaving behind a secret fortune worth over a million dollars.
Neighbours were left speechless when they learned that Eisha left behind a fortune estimated at SR3 million ($799,860), including four buildings in the same district, and an additional SR1 million in jewels and gold coins, said a Saudi Gazette report.
Ahmed Al-Saeedi, who grew up with Eisha in the same district of Al-Balad, spent a considerable amount of time caring for her and he was one of the few people who knew of the wealth Eisha possessed.
He said Eisha did not have any relatives except her mother and sister, both of who were beggars, and said the women were able to build up a small fortune while scrounging on the streets of Jeddah.
“They used to get a lot of sympathy and assistance from philanthropists throughout the year, especially during Eid. Eisha continued to beg after the death of her mother and sister. She was just an old, blind woman who did not have any relatives in this world,” said Al-Saeedi who buried her, accoring to the report.
Al-Saeedi said he had tried to convince Eisha to stop begging on several occasions.
Eisha had given all of the gold coins she had to Al-Saeedi and told him to keep them until she decides when the time is right to sell them. That was 15 years ago when the coins were each worth SR250, but at current market prices, they are valued at SR1,000 each.
Al-Saeedi said he had reported the matter to the police and a local court and was informed the matter will be dealt with according to regulations, the report said.
He said since had not heard anything from the authorities, he had handed over the fortune to one of the trusted residents of the district, who has promised to give it to the authorities. All of my neighbors witnessed me handing over the gold and money Eisha had kept with me for safekeeping, he said.