Mariam Othman’s Inspiring Journey

From a Small Villa to a Leading Institution

Celebrating Professional Excellence on the 30th Anniversary Special 

Liza Ayach

Journalistic Translator @ The National News | Editorial, Creative Writing

June 11, 2024

I had the privilege of attending the 30th anniversary celebration of the Rashid Centre for People of Determination at the Palazzo Versace Hotel Dubai on Monday.

Mrs. Mariam Othman, the founder of the centre, has a story of perseverance, passion, and an unwavering belief in the potential of every child. Her professional journey is a powerful reminder that with determination and dedication, dreams can indeed become reality. She is not just a leader in special needs education but a true inspiration to all who believe in the power of resilience and the importance of never giving up.

Mrs. Othman recounted her journey from humble beginnings to remarkable success, a truly inspiring tale.

“It all started from a small villa in Jumeirah with only around 30 children and a handful of dedicated staff,” Mrs. Othman recalls, reflecting on the early days of the Rashid Centre in 1994.

“Since its inception, the centre has had the support of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Ruler of Dubai. His Highness donated a vast amount of land in Al Barsha where the Rashid Centre was built,” she said.

By 1999, her dream had blossomed into reality with the launch of a new, larger facility in Al Barsha.

“It was my dream to establish this centre and now that it’s all come true, I still think I’m dreaming,” she said.

Today, the Rashid Centre is a bustling hub of education and care, serving more than 200 pupils with the support of 140 highly qualified staff members. This growth is a testament to Mrs. Othman’s unwavering dedication and her professional journey marked by resilience and an indomitable spirit.

The determined pupils delivered a heartfelt performance alongside a captivating play

The event beautifully showcased the centre’s achievements and the incredible progress made over three decades, thanks to the exceptional organizational efforts of Sherif Suleiman and others.

The spotlight was seized by a poignant song 30 Years of Giving, as the pupils delivered a heartfelt performance alongside a captivating play.

Poet Ali Al Khawar, a renowned UAE lyricist, often collaborates with prominent artists to create impactful works. His lyrics for the song 30 Years of Giving, paired with music by Iraqi composer Waseem Faris, beautifully captured the essence on stage, showcased by the pupils’ heartfelt dance performance.

The composer Faris expertly translated Al Khawar’s poignant words into music that mirrors the journey of determination and triumph.

In this performance, the beginning featured a serene sound symbolizing the night through the spirit of Maqam Nahawand, which is a system of melodic notes evoking contemplation and reflection.

Behind the scenes, preparing for the 30th anniversary of Rashid Centre for People of Determination

This slow, contemplative start showcased the performers’ introspection and the challenges they have faced.

The poem 30 Years of Giving kicked off with the first stanza:

Through the trials and tribulations we faced,

We emerged as a symbol to the world’s embrace.

As night turned to day, our determination stood tall,

And with pride, we were hailed as the epitome of resolve.

As the music progressed, it transitioned into an orchestral entry, symbolizing the breaking of darkness, expressing the strength derived from the accomplishments of the determined pupils and the creation of self-confidence.

The impossible was but a fleeting thought,

For with every sunset, the sun’s promise we sought.

Across generations, our legacy endures,

And at the summit, we’re recognized as pioneers.

The Oscar Band, directed by Samer Mansour, also enhanced the show with their dynamic presence

The Oscar Band, directed by Samer Mansour, also enhanced the show with their dynamic presence along the determined pupils on stage. Dancers adorned in traditional Arabic robes moved gracefully to the flow of the Arabic songs, adding a cultural richness to the performance.

With Syrian actor Khaled Alkeesh, a prominent cast member of the Arabic series “Moment of Silence”

The event saw the presence of several Arab celebrities and public figures, including Waleed Toufiq, Saber Al Roubaei, Yemeni singer Arwa, acclaimed Egyptian actresses Sophia Al Omari and Laila Al Alawi, Syrian actor Khaled Alkeesh, public figure Tony Baroud, Syrian actress Suzan Najm Aldeen, Kuwaiti actress Huda Hussein, and Habib Guloom and his wife Haifa Hussein, among many others. Their presence underscored the wide-reaching impact and significance of Mrs. Othman’s work.

The acclaimed Egyptian actress Sophia Al Omari delivered a speech, standing next to her was Syrian actress Suzan Najm Aldeen

If you’ve read this far, you’ve likely found resonance with the story of our founder, Mariam, and perhaps, like her, you’ve thrived in your career for decades.

Share your experiences of success and resilience in the comments below, and let’s continue inspiring each other to reach greater heights.

#Rashidcentre #peopleofdetermination #anniversary #Gulftimesarabia

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