Sarah used to teach a small and, although he didn't know it at the time, important little boy called Rashid, who lived in Umm Al Qawain.
She really liked Rashid. He was, as she would say, a howl. Every now and then he'd come out with some new insight into his life as a really rather special little boy. And then one day he piped up that he liked going to visit his gramps, Papa Rashid, over at the 'big house', particularly because Mama Samsa used to give him ten dirhams.
Papa Rashid, known to most as Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al-Qawain, His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al-Mualla, was a well-loved ruler who had the genuine respect and devotion of his people. I've heard a number of stories about his plain-speaking humour, wit and wisdom. He died in London today.
Now Mama Samsa will be mourning him and so, as a result of our time spent in Umm Al Qawain where Sarah taught at a mad and quixotic little school for two years, are we.