Marhaba! My name is Karen Cashman and I am a 27-year-old primary school teacher from East Cork currently living in Abu Dhabi. I am a country girl at heart, and was raised on a farm by my mother (originally from Galway) and father (born and raised in Cork).

Since graduating from Mary Immaculate College in 2013 I have worked in schools all over Cork. Last year I decided to take the plunge and move to the United Arab Emirates. That plunge turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made; I now work in a prestigious British school and am very much settled in my new sandy home!

My interests are many and varied, in part thanks to my involvement with Macra ne Feirme. I have always loved music and the performing arts, but Macra fostered in me a passion for public speaking, debating and community involvement.

My sister Edel recently underwent successful liver transplant surgery and I have since involved myself in the campaign for the implementation of Opt-Out organ donation in Ireland.

As the Irish community in the Middle East continues to grow, I am proud to be part of strengthening the links between Abu Dhabi and Ireland through the Rose of Tralee International Festival.