REG 200502 Um Jan444-1588492847756
Um Jan (left) in real life and Um Haroon, the character played by Kuwait actress Hayat Al Fahad. Image Credit: Supplied

Manama: The character of the main protagonist in the Um Haroon (Mother of Aaron) series shown daily on pan-Arab mbc1 television is inspired from Um Jan, a Jewish woman who lived in Bahrain, but does not portray her real life or represent her true role in the Bahraini society or her distinguished contributions to local communities, a Bahraini official has said.

The series, centering on an elderly Jewish midwife in a community of different religious sects in the Arabian Gulf in the 1940s, started airing on the first day of Ramadan and has sparked heated debates on social media. Kuwaiti star Hayat Al Fahad plays the role of Um Aaron in the series.

“The script writers have confirmed that the events in the series are completely different from the true story and biography of Um Jan and are not related to her except for inspiring the main character in the series,” Yousuf Mohammed, the head of the media department at the Ministry of Information Affairs, said.

REG 200502 Um Jan-1588492849563
Um Jan Image Credit: Supplied

He was responding to various claims and arguments posted on social media mainly in the Middle East and drawing praise and condemnation in equal measures. Politicians, journalists and historians weighed in, making the series, along COVID-19, one of the most remarkable aspects of Ramadan 2020

“Um Jan is a virtuous woman and a national figure who lived among the people of Bahrain with love and peace, giving a lot to the people of the homeland through her work as a midwife caring about Bahraini women, since her arrival in Bahrain in 1937 to join her husband who was working for Bahrain Petroleum Company “(Bapco),” he told Bahrain News Agency.

She was highly appreciated and respected by the people of Bahrain, in line with their deep values of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and acceptance of others, he added.

REG 200502 Um Jan1-1588492851309
The hospital where Um Jan worked in the 1940s. Image Credit: Supplied

“Um Jan lived in Bahrain safely and carried on with her life in freedom, providing great services that are still vividly recalled in Bahrain’s collective memory,” he said.

“She was known among the people in Bahrain as ‘Um Jan’, a name that reflects her immersion in the Bahraini society and her adoption of the culture, customs and traditions of the people in Bahrain,” he said.

Bahrainis have been known since olden times for their peaceful coexistence and for promoting a culture of peace, fraternity and acceptance of the others, the media head added.