Dubai: American kindergarten teacher Ibolya Balaszi Ryan, 47, the victim of Monday’s stabbing by a niqab-clad woman in an Abu Dhabi mall, was of Hungarian ethnicity who was born and raised in Romania.
According to her profile on a job recruitment company, Footprints Recruiting, Ryan trained as a teacher in both the US and Europe, working in over four continents in the past 15 years before arriving in the UAE.
She started her teaching job in Abu Dhabi on September 2013.
“One of my goals while here in the UAE is to gain some proficiency in Arabic,” her profile reads.
Footprints Recruiting, based in Vancouver, Canada, could not be reached for comment by Gulf News by press time on Thursday.
Ryan lived 35 minutes from Downtown Abu Dhabi with her ten-year-old twin sons, Adam and Aiden.
In her profile, Ryan offered a piece of advice to other teachers working abroad: “Be positive, open-minded, flexible and take every challenge as a learning experience. Also be thankful that you are able to have the experience of working abroad; I think at the end it makes you not just learn about others but also about yourself.”
Before her divorce, Ryan lived with her ex-husband Paul in Colorado.
Footprints Recruiting issued a statement online offering their condolences on the death of Ryan:
“Footprints Recruiting is deeply saddened by the loss of Ibolya Ryan, a Footprints teacher we placed in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Our thoughts are with her family. We await the results of the ongoing police investigation before making conclusions about why this senseless tragedy occurred. We are confident that the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular remains a safe environment in which to live and work.”