x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

TV 'mother' visits a real orphanage

The popular Kuwaiti television actress Huda Hussain paid a quick visit today to a children¿s care centre.

The Kuwaiti actress Huda Hussain, right, speaks with Saif Mohammed at an orphanage run by the Dar Zayed Centre for Family Care in Al Ain. Also pictured is Shaimaa al Mulla, left, a friend of Ms Hussain's.
The Kuwaiti actress Huda Hussain, right, speaks with Saif Mohammed at an orphanage run by the Dar Zayed Centre for Family Care in Al Ain. Also pictured is Shaimaa al Mulla, left, a friend of Ms Hussain's.

Al Ain // The popular Kuwaiti television actress Huda Hussain paid a quick visit yesterday to a children's care centre.

The actress starred in the drama Omaima Fe Dar al Aytam [Omaima in the Orphans' House], which ran throughout Ramadan last year.

The programme tackled social issues, including sexual relations outside marriage. Ms Hussain played the role of Omaima, the mother and caretaker at the orphanage.

"These were us!" said Zahra Yousef, a 22-year-old orphan from Al Ain, who was thrilled to meet Ms Hussain. She, like the other young women and girls at the Dar Zayed Centre for Family Care, was a big fan of the series.

"We named each other using the characters' names," Ms Yousef said.

Girls at the orphanage, who have either lost their parents or have family issues that won't allow them to go back home, are allowed to stay at the centre until they get married.

The centre currently caters to 400 Emirati children of all ages. Each villa has six or seven children, a "mother", a "khalow" (aunt), a maid and a driver.

Yesterday's surprise visit was organised by the centre's female youth coordinator, Halima al Shehi, after she saw how closely the young women and girls identified with the series.

"They would revolve their lives around the show, even the little ones were watching it, they loved it, because it was about them," Ms al Shehi said.

After a presentation by the centre's staff yesterday, Ms Hussain was taken to two of the villas to meet the residents.

"I am very surprised at the standards here, of both environment and education," she said. "But I feel like I am home, that I am back on set, without the cameras."

osalem@thenational.ae