Sarah Powell is the daughter of the late H.O. Powell, former general manager of the Weyburn Security Bank when it was chartered in 1911. Sarah was born in 1908 to a family of six children and educated at the Weyburn Collegiate before going to university. Sarah married Dr. Mohammed Fahdil Jamali in 1933, an Iraqi, Arab, Muslim teacher and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, twice Prime Minister and the man who signed the United Nations charter on behalf of Iraq in 1945.
Mrs. Jamali met her husband at Columbia University in New York City, where both were attending. They were married after she had accepted a position in Baghdad, and later went on to head the English Department at Queen Alia College in Baghdad.