The late Darwish bin Karam
United Arab Emirates
Darwish bin Karam was born in Abu Dhabi and spent his childhood as a pearl diver. At the age of 12 he attended school in Dubai where he realized his passion for education. As a result, he left pearl diving to dedicate his life to educating others. He began teaching at the very young age of 13 in 1932 and went on to build the first brick school in Abu Dhabi. Also known as The Darwish, the Al Ahlia School was founded to educate those from low income families in Arabic, English, Maths and Islamic studies. In addition to teaching, Darwish worked in the Masheekha Diwan where he was the official correspondent to oil companies and recorded the oil flow on Das Island. Darwish was also entrusted with issuing passports and the distribution of police salaries. Darwish was a member of the flood relief committee, which provided support and food supplies to Abu Dhabi residents affected by floods in 1957.