King’s Academy, March 17, 2016 — The newest member of the King’s Academy Board of Trustees, His Excellency Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim, visited the school last week, meeting with Headmaster John Austin and Chairman of the board HE Bassem Al Salem, lunching with students and addressing a Middle East history class.
Al Fahim is the chairman of the Family Council of Abu Dhabi’s leading conglomerate Al Fahim Group. The family-owned group is involved in multiple business sectors including automobiles, real estate, travel and tourism, oil and gas services, and industrial activity.
Al Fahim is also the author of the book From Rags to Riches - A Story of Abu Dhabi, published in English and translated into nine other languages and which is an eye-witness account of the total transformation of a poor society into a country with the world's highest per capita income.
Addressing Faculty Member Adam Kydd’s History of the Modern Middle East class, Al Fahim spoke eloquently about the role of education in the transformation of Abu Dhabi over the last 50 years. Using stark photographs and watercolors of Abu Dhabi 50 years ago, he described the fishing village and its harsh life of pearl diving and sheep herding – a vivid contrast with the glass and steel cityscape of today.
Al Fahim explained how the late Emir Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan (1918-2004) believed strongly in education, and sent a group of exceptional young men (Al Fahim among them) to be educated in England. He concluded by remembering the women of Abu Dhabi, whom he said were owed the most by Abu Dhabi’s leaders today.
At his visit came to a close, Al Fahim said that spending time at King’s Academy had reminded him of his boarding school days and made him wish he was a student again. He added that he would work to bring recognition as well as moral and financial support for the school in the Gulf countries.
The King’s Academy board of trustees elected Al Fahim as its newest trustee in February, bringing the board’s size to 13.
“King’s Academy is privileged to have HE Mohammed Al Fahim join its board,” Chairman of the Board of Trustees HE Bassem Al Salem said. “With his business acumen, his impressive record in philanthropy, and his unwavering commitment various educational initiatives in Abu Dhabi and the region, he is exactly the kind of man we need as a King’s trustee.”