H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid pays tribute to Mariamma Varkey

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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has paid tribute to Dubai-based educator Mariamma Varkey who died this week at the age of 89.

Mariamma, widely known as Madam Varkey, came to Dubai in 1959 and established a school from her own home that same year; subsequently founding Our Own English High School, in 1968.

She was the mother of Gems Education Founder and Chairman Sunny Varkey.

Earlier this week, the Varkey family confirmed the news of the passing of Madam Varkey, saying she would be remembered as a beloved mother and grandmother, but also as a teacher and pioneer in education, whose impact transcends generations.

A statement released by GEMS Education said: "her humanitarian contributions focused on the learning development of girls and the advancement and recognition of teachers, with her legacy rooted in her unrelenting belief in the power of quality education to better society.”

In a response to the tribute from His Highness, GEMS Education Founder and Chairman Sunny Varkey said he was most grateful for the kind words, commemorating his beloved mother and her pioneering role in furthering education in the United Arab Emirates.

He said "my family and I consider it a most gracious tribute in honour of her. My mother loved this land, its leaders and people, and considered it her home and second country. We will continue and live up to her pioneering legacy and embody her firm belief in the power of education to change the lives of generations and make the world a better place."

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