Paul Calvert spoke with Saliba Kuttab from Frere School in Jerusalem, about the history of the school, his vision for the future, and the benefits of being based in the Old City.

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Going To School In The Old City In Jerusalem

Paul: Will that make it easier for the children?

Saliba: Of course, because now the children have the internet, they like to be taught in giving them some games, and to discover all the materials that they can learn. It's better for the kid to discover it and to learn it after.

Paul: I understand that you want to develop a radio station in the school?

Saliba: Yes. We have the radio every morning. We can do it two or three times a week, but I think it is so traditional. The idea that I have is to do a simple radio and that we can put the radio 24 hours for our kids, and even for the families and the community of Jerusalem.

Paul: Are you wanting the children to get involved in making shows and music?

Saliba: Yes. By themselves they prepare everything, and they can produce it and give it to the people who are around the school and in Jerusalem also.

Paul: Is this something that is unique in the Holy Land?

Going To School In The Old City In Jerusalem

Saliba: I think so yes. I don't know if there are schools that are thinking about this, but we have to develop it to become a small radio, a simple one. So some students who like this, we can give them the opportunity to work on this idea.

Paul: What is the mission of the school?

Saliba: The mission of the school is that firstly everybody has to live together. There is no difference between Christians and Muslims, or even Jews. There is no difference between religions.

We are a Christian school, but the vision we have is to respect each other. We have to respect the other religion, so the Muslims can take their Islamic lessons equally as the Christians, so we have no difference between them. The students never feel they have differences between each other.

Then our mission is to give our children a better education and to be near to God. This is our vision.

Paul: How many children do you have here and what ages are they?

Saliba: We have 600 students in the New Gate School. In the Beit Hanina School we have around 1150. The age is from five years old until 18 years old.