Home LearningExcellence In...Schools TGIF: THANK GUNNERS IT’S FRIDAY!


by Belinda Breeze

At Bloom World Academy in Dubai, as children arrive for school and leave in the afternoon, there is a beloved guardian greeting every student with a smile. His name is Friday Emmanuel, the school’s dedicated security guard, whose boundless positivity and empathetic nature set him apart. Friday’s a firm favourite amongst students and to show their appreciation, one group of Grade 10 students made a plan to surprise him with a wonderful and thoughtful gift – a signed Arsenal football shirt.

Hassan, one of the students involved, said: “We just all really love Friday and wanted to do something nice for him. Originally, we wanted to band together to get him a birthday gift. He and my dad often chat about Arsenal at the gate and we knew he was a big fan. So, we thought we would get him an Arsenal shirt. When I heard the team was coming to Dubai, we decided to try and get it signed.”

With a little help from his dad, Hassan sourced not only one but three shirts, which the students gifted to Friday, as well as two teachers who also support the Gunners. Friday also received a personalised message on the shirt and a video recording from Arsenal’s Spanish Assistant Manager, Carlos Questa, who had heard of Friday’s popularity with the school community. “Thank you for sharing constantly a great energy, smile, and positivity for people. Every small action has the power to create a better world,” the inspirational message read. When the students presented Friday with the shirt, he was left speechless, later saying: “I’ve been a big fan of Arsenal ever since I was a little boy. When they gave me the shirt, I wanted to speak but the words stuck in my throat. I was so happy!”

Founding Principal John Bell commented: “We are very proud of our young people for exemplifying the values of Bloom World Academy. This thoughtful deed was an independent endeavour and shows that they are not only caring but proactive members of our community. If we as educators can encourage altruism, empathy, and a passion for lifelong and life-changing learning in our students, we can foster a truly international and inclusive community of students who are active and compassionate citizens of the planet.”

Friday Emmanuel, security guard and unsung hero, whose watchful eyes and considerate heart have formed an impenetrable bond with the community at Bloom World Academy, now owns a signed shirt from his beloved Arsenal, a club that consistently keeps fans on an emotional rollercoaster – one minute you’re celebrating a stunning goal, the next you’re checking your blood pressure!