Homeless Woman Found To Have over £835,000 In The Bank
Generous citizens who gave cash to a homeless woman in Lebanon have been surprised to hear that she had almost a million pounds in her bank account.
Fatima Othman was a well-known figure on the streets of Beirut and passed away at the age of 52 as a result of a heart attack. She had lost her hands and feet in the Lebanese Civil War and was regularly helped out by the public of the Lebanese capital, who gave her money and food.
Othman came to prominence when a photograph of her being helped by a Lebanese soldier, who was giving her water and food as she had no use of her hands or feet.
The soldier was praised for his 'compassion and humility' by his commanding officer and widely commended in Lebanese society.
When Othman passed away last week, however, her belongings were found to contain five million Lebanese pounds - just shy of £2,500 in UK sterling - in cash, wrapped in plastic bags.
When police searched through her bags, they found a deposit book for a bank, which revealed that she had a further 1.7 billion Lebanese pounds in the account, a total that is around £835,000 in British money.
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Beirut residents were astounded to find that a person they had supported financially for years was actually independently wealthy, and many are now mystified as to how she came to have so much money - and why she continued begging when it appears she had no need to.
Police found the money while attempting to find her next of kin, to whom they could return her body and arrange for a funeral. Eventually they discerned that Ms Othman was from the northern Lebanese town of Ain Al-Zahab in the province of Akkar, close to the border with Syria.
Police spokesman Joseph Musallem described it as 'a big surprise' to find out that Ms Othman was so rich. Her family in Ain Al-Zahab were also surprised to hear that she had so much money in her bank account.
She was injured in the Lebanese Civil War, which began in 1975 and lasted until 1990, causing the deaths of over 120,000 people and the emigration of hundreds of thousands more.
It was fought between Christian, Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim and leftist groups, as well as being affected by outside interference from Syria, Israel, France and the United States.
Featured Image Credit: CEN