GEMS Education's longest-serving teacher dies in UAE

gems education, longest serving, teacher, dies, uae

Sharjah - Originally from Palestine, she moved to Dubai in 1972.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Fri 16 Aug 2019, 7:10 PM

Last updated: Sat 17 Aug 2019, 8:52 AM

After serving as an Arabic teacher and supervisor at an Indian school in Sharjah for over 44-years, Zakiya Omran (69 years also), a Palestinian national, died on Thursday, August 15 after a long illness. She was the GEMS Education group's longest-serving teacher.
Omran had recently retired as an Arabic Supervisor from Our Own English High School - Sharjah after serving more than 44 years at GEMS Education. The school announced her death on Friday, August 16. Former students, teachers and the school community in Sharjah have expressed their shock at Omran's passing as she was a well-loved member of staff.
Sunny Varkey, chairman and founder of GEMS Education issued a statement on Friday, and said, "Our deepest condolences go out to Zakiya's family. She was a big part of the GEMS Education community and a pillar of our society. She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all."
Asma Gilani, the principal of Our Own English High School Sharjah said, "Zakiya Omran joined GEMS as a young Arabic teacher in 1972 in the first school at Bastakiya. Her journey of growth and learning is closely tied with the history of GEMS."
She joined Our Own English High School, Sharjah, in 1991, according to school sources. Asma said, "We appreciate her deep commitment to her profession and will forever be indebted to her for her valuable contributions in ensuring Arabic became an integral part of every students' life. She epitomised loyalty and commitment. Her legacy will live on throughout GEMS. She was a passionate teacher who was respected by all. Our hearts go out to her family."
Originally from Palestine, Zakiya moved to Dubai in 1972 and worked for Mariamma Varkey at Our Own English High School, Dubai. She later worked at Cambridge School where she was Head of Arabic before moving to Our Own English High School Sharjah where she diligently served as Arabic Supervisor till her retirement.
In an earlier interview with Khaleej Times in 2016, Zakiya had said, "Sometimes my former students come to meet me and I am happy to realise that they are doing so well and are all successful. There are times when I've taught my children's children, and in rare cases, their grandkids," she said. "I think that the future of education is bright, and I want to see more Indian children speak Arabic."

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