Dr Maha
In a statement to Gulf News, GEMS Education confirmed that Dr Maha (above) was an alumnus of one of its schools in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The life of Dr Maha Basheer, 25, the pregnant doctor who died days after losing her baby this week, was a journey from being the head girl of a Dubai school to a frontline warrior who succumbed to COVID-19 complications in India.

Hailing from Kerala, the former UAE student was working at Indiana Hospital and Heart Institute in Mangalore in Karnataka where she was admitted after contracting the infection while being six months pregnant.

The teachers of the Dubai school, where she did her primary education, have joined her teachers from the other educational institutions in paying rich tributes to the former student.

In a statement to Gulf News, the UAE-headquartered GEMS Education confirmed that Dr Maha was an alumnus of one of its schools and offered condolences to her family. “We are extremely saddened to know about the sudden demise of Dr Maha Basheer last Tuesday due to COVID complications,” the group said.

“She was an alumnus of GEMS Legacy School (GLS), Dubai, (formerly known as The Kindergarten Starters or KGS) from 1999 to 2005. On behalf of the GEMS Legacy Community, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr Maha.”

Asha Alexander, principal, GLC, said several of Maha’s teachers who taught her are still with the school and remember her fondly.

Dr Maha Basheer
The teachers of the Dubai school, where Dr Maha did her primary education, have joined her teachers from the other educational institutions in paying rich tributes to the former student. Image Credit: Supplied

Always in touch

“Ms Prameela Dinesan, her Malayalam teacher, had been in touch with Maha and her family and had been invited to her wedding held in September, 2020. She recalls Maha being appointed as Head Girl, KGS, in Grade 5 in 2005,” the principal stated.

Dr Maha was married to Dr Shawafer Muhammed, who is currently pursuing his MD degree.

The principal further said: “Ms Sarita Kaul and Ms Ruth Mani were the other teachers of Maha who remember her as a very enthusiastic and vibrant student with high aspirations. The entire GLS community is with Maha’s family during these trying times of profound grief. We sincerely pray that her soul may rest in peace,”

She said Maha had emailed a touching tribute to her alma mater remembering all her teachers and leaders on the 30th anniversary celebrations of KGS last year.

Moving tribute

The principal also shared the moving letter that was penned by Dr Maha in which she expressed her sincere gratitude to the primary school that helped shaped her what she was.

“KGS — These three letters mean a lot to me. The person I am today, the reason of my parents pride in me was shaped by my early childhood days there,” she had written. She recollected how students “were encouraged to talk about our dreams and aspirations on our birthdays in front of the whole school and thus making us realise what we actually wanted in our lives.”

Getting the GP-1 award as the school topper from KG1 to Grade 4 was the stepping stone to my academic life, Dr Maha said. “When I first joined the school, I was a very shy and quiet person and KGS guided and moulded me in such a way that I was appointed as the Head Girl for the year 2005, and I am still embarrassingly proud and extremely nostalgic about my life there. Our Sports Day was not just about winning, but about having fun with our friends, even while competing with them. Our annual days were filled with colour and music and it was fun selling the carnival tickets to our relatives and friends and letting them be a part of the fun.”

Grateful to teachers

Dr Maha specifically remembered the contribution of the teacher who taught her Malayalam, her mother tongue. “My mother always says ‘Malayalam once taught by Mrs Prameela Ma’am can never be forgotten’. She is the strictest teacher I have studied under but I adore her because she actually taught us the value of discipline in our lives.”

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“Our Principal, Headmistress, Supervisors and Teachers always had a close bond with almost all the parents that KGS felt more like a family gathering which led to the parents enrolling their younger children in KGS itself as they never felt the need to even think about another school.”

“I am ever grateful to have been taught by the extremely talented and caring teachers from KG1 to Grade 5 and for having been a part of the KGS family. I wish KGS Happy 30th Birthday and hope that they keep being wonderful and inspiring to the students,” Dr Maha signed off by mentioning her batch 1999-2005.