RIYADH: Zeenat Musarrat Jafri, educator and founder of International Indian School Riyadh (IISR), was felicitated by a group of expatriate organizations recently.
She was honored for receiving the highest civilian award (Pravasi Bharatiya Samman), which is given to non-resident Indians (NRIs).
The program, chaired by Indian Ambassador Ahmed Javed, was organized jointly by Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association, Riyadh chapter (AMOUBA), Osmania University Alumni Association Riyadh (OUAAR), Hindustani Bazme Urdu and Bazm-e-Urdu Toastmaster Club Riyadh (BUTMCR) at the Riyadh Palace Hotel.
The event was attended by diplomats, executives and about 500 guests.
Javed in his speech quoted Nelson Mandela who said: “Education is the powerful weapon, which can be used to change the world. Along with education, you need zeal, passion and commitment for success in any field.”
He shed light on the life and achievements of Jafri who received the award in India from President Pranab Mukherjee for her contributions in the field of education.
Sharing her story, Jafri said: “My elder son Mudassir was 3, when I realized there was no school I could send him to as British and American schools were too expensive.
“We met then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when she visited Riyadh in 1982 and requested her to speak to the Saudi authorities to get permission for a school.”
After receiving a memento from the ambassador, Jafri thanked all community organizations and well-wishers for their cooperation and dedicated the award to all the Indians living in Riyadh.
The heads of all community organizations presented flower bouquets and shawls to Jafri.

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