Many people who have seen five-year-old Hidy of the Philippines speaking local Arabian accent have mistaken her for an Arab child with Asian features.
But Hidy is a full-fledged Filipina who masters the Saudi accent like the Saudis themselves. The reason is very simple - Hidy was born to a Filipina housemaid in a Saudi family and was treated as one of them.
The family of Fahd bin Jaleed, better known as Abu Ahmed, has become so attached to the girl that they considered her as one of their children and hated to even think that the day will come when Hidy will leave them.
But it seems that feared day has finally come and Abu Ahmed's wife is already speaking of how difficult it is for her not to see Hidy again."We have been attached to Hidy like our own child…her departure will be very difficult for me and for all of us because she was born her, lived her and brought up here,” the veiled Umm Ahmed said.
But Umm Ahmed appears determined not to accept the fact that she would never see Hidy again. “We will visit them in the Philippines,” she said.
Hidy’s mother Nawal came to Saudi Arabia nearly seven years ago to work as a housemaid at Abu Ahmed’s house. A few months later, she told them she was pregnant but apologized that she had not known this back at home.
"She told them the truth and said she could go back home if they want… Abu Ahmed gave her a choice-- either she goes back home or stays with them and delivers at his house… she took the second option,” the Saudi Arabic language daily Alsaudi said without mentioning where Abu Ahmed lives.
A five-minute video run on YouTube showed Hidy and her mother appeared to be enjoying their life with the Saudi family while the little Filipina is shown hugged several times by Abu Ahmed and his wife. The film, which also showed Hidy playing with Abu Ahmed’s children, was viewed by more than 528,000 people in just three days, according to Saudi newspapers.
It is in sharp contrast with reports over the past few years about mistreatment of Asian housemaids in Saudi Arabia and public comments sent to local newspapers poured praise on Abu Ahmed’s family. “That is how the Saudis should be shown to the world,” one comment said.
Another comment said: "This is what real Islam is. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) was eating with the people who works with him.”
Newspapers said Hidy would be missed by Abu Ahmed’s family but did not mention when she would leave the Gulf Kingdom, the largest Arab economy where more than one million Asian domestic servants work.