Egyptian town bids farewell to elderly man who spent his life in a hole

Mohammed Zouz, one of the town's residents, said the elderly man lived in that hole naked for 52 years

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More than 7,000 Egyptians from the town of Naqada in the Qena governorate, south of Egypt, participated in the funeral of an elderly man who's lived in a hole nearby for over 50 years.

The elderly man passed away on Friday evening and was buried following a massive funeral taking his secret with him to the grave.

Mohammed Zouz, one of the town's residents, said the elderly man lived in that hole naked for 52 years.

He said he's never seen anything like his funeral as women ululated, men sang religious chants and young men carried palm fronds all the way to the man’s burial place.

Al-Arabiya.net asked some of the townspeople about the man and his life and inquired why he lived in the hole without wearing any clothes.

It learnt that his name was Jad al-Karim Abdelrahim Jad al-Karim. He hails from Naqada and lived his early years in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

After suffering a psychological shock and a trauma, he returned to his town and lived in a hole near a small canal.

He ate fish all the time and never wore any clothes, covering himself with a blanket. None of the townspeople knew what traumatized Jad to pursue this kind of life.

One of the paradoxes is that the townspeople used to ask for his blessings and he used to respond to their calls and bless them.

What's more interesting is that he knew everyone's name, although he never sat with him. If someone saluted him, he’d respond back, identifying them with their name.

The hole where he lived was small, and although it flooded when it rained, he never left it and stayed in until the water dried out.

Townspeople claim some of Jad's relatives paid him visits every now and then, but they did not talk much as he never wanted to speak with people or to mingle with them.

He also did not allow anyone to take pictures of him and turned down people's gifts and money.

He fished his own fish and gave it to the townspeople and they prepared it for him.

Some of the town's elders consulted doctors in an attempt to treat him but they confirmed that the man’s mental health was normal and were bewildered in explaining his condition.

*This story is also available in Arabic on Alarabiya.net