Sheikh Abdullah praises Emirati man for offer to teach

Khalid Al Ameri, the high-flying young graduate who will take unpaid leave from his job to be a schoolteacher, has created ripples across the country and a social-media sensation.

Emirati Khalid Al Ameri wrote that he would take unpaid leave from his government job to become a teacher. Ravindranath K / The National
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ABU DHABI // The high-flying young graduate who will take unpaid leave from his job to be a schoolteacher has created ripples across the country and a social-media sensation.

The latest praise for Khalid Al Ameri has come from Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“You are a wonderful person. I am proud that you are from the UAE. I send you my best regards and my appreciation,” Sheikh Abdullah said on Twitter.

It all began when Mr Al Ameri, 31, who took his MBA at Stanford University in California, wrote an open letter to the Abu Dhabi Education Council offering to take a leave of absence from his job as an associate partner at Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government investment company, to become a teacher.

Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, Adec’s director general, met Mr Al Ameri for almost two hours on Monday night to discuss his offer.

“She was very inspirational and she is a teacher herself,” he said. “They want to create leaders in the education industry and she said she was very proud of what I did.

“It’s time to roll my sleeves up and get into this.

“Sheikh Abdullah is a role model for all of us, but he’s also a politician and there’s a reason he retweets certain things, so it was huge when he did it.

“It was just really enormous because I just thought it would be great if they responded when I wrote the letter, but it’s only been 24 hours and all this has happened.

“God bless social media.”

Mr Al Ameri is now waiting for Adec to formally accept his offer before he makes the move from Mubadala.

“They said they want to move forward, that we need to get this going and that there are plans in place.

“Everything’s been positive and they want to move quickly. I put out an offer so they have to accept so I can take care of business.”

Adec said there will be another meeting next week to plan how to turn Mr Al Ameri’s proposal into reality.

“If they’re looking at doing the Teach for UAE initiative, it’s only as good as the smart pipeline and the leaders it creates to lead,” Mr Al Ameri said.

“If I go in and just become a ninth-grade teacher for the next 10 years, I wouldn’t have done anything. My goal is to start a movement and outreach, help, recruit and become something bigger at the end of this so that people can look at this and say, ‘Here’s a story I’d like to have’.

“That’s success in my eyes – to prove that teaching is one of the greatest ways to have an impact, but also one of the greatest paths to success.”

He said Mubadala had helped to build him into the leader he was today, and The National has given him a voice: he is a columnist with the newspaper.

“It’s about creating leaders in all different aspects of society and Mubadala has trained me for this day.

“It has given me the courage to do this and become this person and they have both given me all the tools to become successful while being nothing but supportive in my career.

“It was all just meant to be.”

cmalek@thenational.ae