World Amazing Stuff: 3 sisters win UAE's highest academic award

3 sisters win UAE's highest academic award

A Dubai-based Indian couple has hit the headlines after all their three daughters received the country’s top award for academic performance. And if that wasn’t enough, the family also took home the Hamdan Distinguished Family Award.

Diabetologist Dr Shabana Muzzamil, who recently received the Hamdan Distinguished Family Award with her neo-natologist husband Dr Muzzamil Hafeez and their daughters Irfaanah, 17, Maryam, 12 and Hurairah, 9, from Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, said: “We feel blessed to be the first Indian family to receive the prestigious honour.”

The 16th cycle of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance was presented at a gala event in Dubai on April 22.

Dr Shabana, who hails from Bengaluru, said her three girls, all studying in GEMS’ Our Own English High School in Al Warqa, have done the family proud. “While Irfaanah and Hurairah won the award in 2013 (15th cycle), Maryam bagged it this year for distinguished academic performance. Hurairah, who studies in Grade 5, has also won this year’s Award for Excellence in the Sharjah Education Zone.”

The distinctions are perhaps no coincidence. The Muzzamils, who were practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia earlier, said they made a conscious decision to move to Dubai in 2008 to give their daughters a better education.

“This was the best decision we have ever taken. The UAE provides great opportunities to develop talent and pursue dreams,” said Dr Hafeez.

He said his daughters are not just consistent toppers in academics, a pre-requisite for the Hamdan award, but also excel in extra-curricular activities like public speaking, debating, dancing, singing and art and craft.

Thomas Mathew, Principal of Our Own English High School, Dubai, said: “These super achieving children are undoubtedly being reared in a very nourishing family environment.

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