Cairo: Bahraini architect Khalil Al Al Daylami stops at a traffic signal fastening the seat belt around him as he sits behind the wheel. Suddenly, a group of people appear in front carrying a sign reading in Arabic: ”Attention! A hero is in front of you!” They are clad in vests forming on the back the phrase: “Khalil Al Daylami, we’re proud of you.”
Reinforcing the message, a truck comes in sight, carrying the name of “Khalil Al Daylami the hero”. As tears well up to the man’s eyes, his portrait graces windows of cars stopping next to him and big banners appear showering him with praise, calling him “You’re outstanding”.
Nicknamed the “father of orphans”, Al Daylami is acknowledged for looking after hundreds of orphans and offering support for the poor through his charity.
The man was recently invited by “You’re Outstanding”, a show aired on Bahraini TV during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan celebrating people who contribute positively to society. Al Daylami, also known as Abu Ahmed, is one of them.
In its effort to display surprise appreciation to him, the show-makers asked Al Daylami to hit the road to run-test a new car. He did, only to find himself the focus of the praise heaped on him at the traffic signal. He did not know that the car was fitted with a camera to catch his reaction.
Humbly impressed inside the car, the man also saw on an in-built screen some orphans, employees and his son hosted by the show and hailing his philanthropy.
“He would never let us down or even fall back on his duty,” one orphan says.
Abu Ahmed’s relationship with the orphans is fatherly, an employee at his charity, says. “When we take a trip to an amusement park, he would play with the children,” she adds. He would ask the orphans to call him Baba “father” Khalil.
The man sounds selfless and modest. As tearful Daylami gets off the car, he is welcomed by people from the show, some of whom carrying signs reading: “You’re outstanding. You’re dedicated”. In response, he says: “Orphans deserve much more. Frankly, I don’t deserve all this. Allah is the one who has been generous to me. I’m nothing.”
Interestingly, when he appeared on the show, some websites mistook him for Khalil Al Daylami, an Iraqi lawyer who led the defence team for Saddam Hussein before his execution in 2006.