153 Year Old Man Dies in Oman?! (Example of Poor Journalism in Oman)

Image                                                         Check out this short “news article” from Feb. 27th in which Oman Observer claims that a 153 year old man from Shinas, Oman died.  There is absolutely no indication of how his age was determined, just a short quote from one of his 300 grandchildren.  Is that picture supposed to be of when he was living or after he passed away?  If the man was that old, why would they wait until his death to claim that he was 153 years old?! Why have we heard nothing about such a person until now?  This story is SO fishy!  I’ve also heard that the Arabic version of the story claims that the man was 135, not 153!  (So now a fishy story + a dyslexic writer?!)

Misao Okawa from Japan (born March 5 1898) is currently the oldest living person in the world whose age can be verified. Don’t you think Oman Observer should have a done a little more reporting on such a story if we are we to believe that a man of 153 years of age (born in 1861?!) recently passed away rather than just explain it away with “well…you know, he used to eat fresh food particularly locally-made margarine and honey, dates and fish.” Okay! That should be enough for us then!

3 responses to “153 Year Old Man Dies in Oman?! (Example of Poor Journalism in Oman)

  1. There are countless examples of poor journalism. Check the Observer site, specifically the story about place names – entitled ‘WHEN PLACES LOST IN SPELLINGS’ and the other about the budget deficit – ‘Tough steps must to check budget deficit’. Er…

    That said, this story is weird. Clearly rubbish. I guess there is no fact checker at the paper.

    • Hi, Daniel. I remember reading that very article you mentioned and needing to reread it due to the errors! Yes, “weird” is definitely a word that describes this story well!

  2. Hope you are well Andy, haven’t really kept in touch since I left Oman last year, but thought this story might interest you. I wrote it back in 2010 and as you can see in the story, estimated the man’s age as there was no way of actually knowing! He was so fascinating and to this day remains one of my favourite stories to have written. http://www.theweek.co.om/disCon.aspx?Cval=3574 Sadly I don’t know what happened with the man and had no way of getting in touch with him as it was a very weird link that I found him in the first place! Emma Abdulaal (then Williams)

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