You saw her on stage, now find out more about GAD 2021 host and MC, Deema Alalamy, VP – Arabic and Islamic at GEMS. Deema has the all-important job of ensuring that our schools are teaching Arabic and Islamic in-line with the UAE National Agenda, and this was her seventh GAD, here she shares some of her past experiences of GAD.
Tell us about your first GAD – What’s your most vivid memory of it?
“My first GAD experience was actually only a few weeks after I joined GEMS in 2015. It was held at Atlantis, as it was this year, and I was part of TELLAL’s team, who used to plan the event. So my involvement was on both the planning and attending side. The thing I remember most was the incredible energy on that day – everyone was so excited to be joining GEMS.”
What was your impression of GEMS after your first GAD?
“It really hit me during that day, how big a responsibility I have now that I’m part of the GEMS family. The scope and breadth of the goals I was expected to deliver were made even more real when I saw the thousands of new teachers joining.”
What changes have you seen to GAD over the years?
“The structure of the day has evolved and changed throughout the years. But the things that really matter have not changed. Over the past six years, GAD has maintained the positive, energising and exciting energy that it always had. Although this year’s event was my sixth GAD, every time I see the number of new teachers joining the GEMS family I am overwhelmed by how important our mission is towards every student.”
In your opinion, why is an event like this important for new teachers?
“It is incredibly important for new teachers to see the endless amount of possibilities they have within GEMS. At GAD you meet older GEMS teachers who are now VPs, you also meet Principals who have been there for many years, you “It is incredibly important for new teachers to see the endless possibilities they have within GEMS. At GAD you meet older GEMS teachers who are now VPs, you meet principals who have been here for many years, and you hear the CEO speak. All these interactions motivate you to give your best and aim high.”
After your first GAD as a new hire, what has your involvement been in subsequent GADs?
“I have been involved on and off in the planning of GAD. When I first joined, there was nothing targeted at Arabic or Islamic teachers, and over the years we started incorporating sessions in Arabic as well as sessions specifically for Islamic teachers. This year I was so excited to be the MC for the event.”
What’s your favourite thing about GADs?
“Meeting all the new teachers and sharing my GEMS experience. Also, the GEMS choir; they blow me away every single time!”
What did you love about GAD2021?
“Just seeing that despite a very challenging year due to the pandemic, the team was still able to pull off a great event, and GEMS was still able to attract over 1600 new teachers.”
What advice do you have for new joiners?
“The sky is your limit. Learn from your colleagues, take risks, and always remember the children at the heart of any decision you make. If you are committed, hardworking and innovative, you will always grow within this organisation.”