Appearing on MasterChef Australia is just the latest chapter in Huda Al Sultan’s colourful life.
The Saudi Arabian-born 34-year-old was just 16 when her elder sister died, after being rushed to hospital in her second trimester of pregnancy.
Huda knew her sister had miscarried, but didn’t know the circumstances of her death beyond that until three years ago.
Two years later, when she was 18, Huda’s parents arranged for her to marry her late sister’s husband Abdulmunem.
“It was awkward and I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do, but I was young,” she told TV Week. “My parents knew he was a good man and it’s the traditional way of marriage [in Arab culture].”
More than 15 years later, Huda and Abdulmunem are still happily married and have three children.
Huda said she is able to look back fondly on her marriage as a “gift” from her sister.