A 100-year-old beggar in Saudi Arabia died after 50 years of panhandling, and while her neighbors and friends were saddened by her passing, they were also a little shocked to discover that she had built up a fortune over the years
Ayesha, the now deceased beggar, is said to have amassed 3 million Saudi Riyals (around $800,000), four buildings in Al-Balad, and 1 million Saudi Riyals (close to $270,000) worth of jewelry. Very few people knew of the infamous beggar’s fortune, and when she died, her will was turned over to a friend.
Ayesha’s friend Ahmad Saidi says that the woman’s will expressed her wishes to have all of her money and property given to the needy. Saidi says that he attempted to inform the authorities so that they could distribute the money, but after getting the runaround, he took matters into his own hands.
“I am tired of this role,” said Saidi. “I gave statements to the police and the court and received a promise that the authorities would do what was needed.”
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When the promise wasn’t kept, Saidi says he emptied all of the money, gold, and jewelry onto the streets of Al-Balad and let the residents there discover it.
In Ayesha’s will, there’s reportedly a specific request that after she’s gone, the government take over the four buildings she owns and kick out those who live there. Currently, the government has yet to take over the buildings, and some of the residents are protesting being kicked out.
“They are all poor people,” said one neighbor. “[Saidi] is insisting that the properties be handed over to the authorities but where will these poor people go?”
Ayesha apparently grew up with a sister and a mother who begged for money, and many of her assets came from them.