Former English teacher Roohi Ali Khan from Dubai passed away at the age of 75 last week. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Students and teachers have paid rich tributes to a former Dubai school teacher who passed away recently.

Roohi Ali Khan died in Karachi, Pakistan, at the age of 75 last week, according to former colleagues at Dubai Gem Private School (DGPS). She is survived by two sons.

Roohi is remembered as “one of the finest English teachers” they have had by some members of the school alumni, who were taught by her.

A poet, writer, dancer and radio broadcaster in her younger days, Roohi arrived in the UAE in 1981.

“Roohi was not just a colleague and good friend,” Humera Ibrahim, principal of DGPS, told Gulf News. “She was an inspiration. Her wisdom, charm, grace, kindness and generosity made her one in a million. I learned much from her. May the Almighty grant her the highest place in Jannat [paradise].”

Dr Poonam Mahindra, vice principal, said: “We remember Roohi as an outstanding member of the DGPS family who always had a smile on her face. She was a caring and humble woman who always supported other colleagues and maintained the highest standards. She was a cherished colleague, scholar and friend. She will be missed by many but never forgotten by those who were fortunate enough to have known her.”

Sheela Mistry, administration manager who has been with the school for 28 years, said she had worked with Roohi throughout her 16-year stint at DGPS. “She used to write in newspapers. She used to look after the school’s editorial work and would help us out with the yearbook too.”

Students’ homage

Former students, who were taught by Roohi, paid rich tributes to her on their alumni pages on social media.

Nikita Egbert said she was “one of the finest English teachers I have ever had the pleasure of being taught by”.

“I remember listening to stories of her life from before she started teaching. She was a strong, confident and accomplished lady. Moreover, she touched our hearts as young students with her endless wisdom and candour. I think many can agree that her voice still echoes in our heads when it comes to good grammar, discipline and ambition. The hallways of DGPS will always carry her gentle spirit,” said Egbert.

Yash Wadwani remembered her as “one of the kindest, most interesting and graceful women I had ever met”.

He said: “She was one of a kind. The passion and love she had for the written word transferred onto the kids she was teaching. She was one of the best English teachers we had. I still remember how expressive she was when she read to us during English literature classes. I used to look forward to her class.”

Touching lives

Roohi’s Dubai-based son, Arafaat Ali Khan, said his mother was known for her care for students.

“Mum was a wonderful human, touching the lives of everyone she met and leaving them for the better. She did everything in her power, selflessly putting her sons first and that empathy and love being shown to her students as well. She genuinely cared for all of her students, many of whom kept in touch with her even after graduation. She was a beacon of happiness everywhere she went and always left her colleagues with fond memories and warmth,” said Arafaat, who is the co-founder of Middle East Film and Comic Con.