Al-Qasimi was born in Ras Al Khaimah in 1958. His family goes back to an ancient ruling family of Ras Al Khaimah, and his cousin Sheikh Saud Al Qasimi is the ruler of the emirate. He is considered the most prominent expert in educational curricula and educational administration in the UAE and the Arab world.
Al-Qasimi has a distinguished professional and academic career, as he obtained a BA in educational administration from the United Arab Emirates University, then a master's degree from George Washington University, USA, with distinction, and a Ph.D in educational planning policies from the University of Manchester.
Al-Qasimi held several key positions including:
- Director of Curriculum and Textbooks Department in the Ministry of Education 1981-1987
- A member in more than 30 scientific and educational committees inside and outside the UAE, most notably the Technical Committee for Curricula in the Emirates, which supervises all curriculum planning and implementation processes, and the founding committee of Al Ittihad University, which ruled in 1999.
In addition to his academic role, Al-Qasimi is one of the pioneers of charitable work in the UAE and in the world. He supervised many charitable projects in Europe and the world. He ruled the Reform and Social Guidance Association in Ras Al Khaimah. This association was subjected to a fierce security campaign days after Al-Qasimi was arrested, along with the arrest of its members and their removal from government office and public life.
His apprehension and trial
Days prior his arrest, a man from the ruling family in Ras al-Khaimah called Sheikh Al-Qasimi, telling him that Abu Dhabi wanted to arrest him and wanted Ras al-Khaimah to hand him over publishing a newspaper article criticizing the UAE authorities' revocation of the nationality of seven Emirati citizens. Also, it was because he singed the Third of March petition, demanding development of the democratic experience, particularly in the election of the National Council and allowing all the Emirati people to run and be elected, and to develop their powers.
After a long discussion, they set a deadline in order to reach an agreement. On April 20, 2012, a group of armed men arrested him without charge or an arrest warrant, taking him to a separate room in the palace of the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
Al-Qasimi remained in detained in the palace of the ruler of Ras al-Khaimah for several months, where he was forced to sign verbal and written commitments. After their attempts to force him failed, he was transferred to Abu Dhabi and tried before the State Security Court in the case (79/2012) known as the secret organization (UAE 94).
He was accused of being affiliate to a secret illegal organization that aimed at opposing the foundations on which the country is based, in an attempt to seize the ruling with the help of foreign parties.
On July 2, 2013, the State Security court issued an unpealable court sentencing Al-Qasimi to 10 years imprisonment along with dozens of academics and educated people in the case known as the “UAE 94”.