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: You also have a school in Bethlehem as well?

Saliba: Yes and we have one in Jaffa. We have four schools in the Holy Land.

Paul: Are you a mixed school with boys and girls?

Saliba: Yes. Before 15 years ago it was only boys. Now we have mixed between boys and girls.

The problem that we have is we have two thirds of the kids are boys and one third are girls. It would be better if we had 50/50.

Paul: Is it important that you're here in the Old City of Jerusalem?

Saliba: It is something important. We are so glad that we are in the Old City because for our kids it's the opportunity to go through and visit all the old, historical and religious places; the Holy Sepulchre and all the places we have for Christians and Muslims.

Even inside our school, we have the prison of St Peter. We hope that in our programme that we can give them a little bit of history about St Peter.

Old City wall next to basketball court
Old City wall next to basketball court

We also have in this school a beautiful view. We can see Jerusalem from the four parts; we can see Jerusalem East and Jerusalem West.

Paul: Do you have lots of out of school activities?

Saliba: Sure, we have many visits in the Old City. Even during the lessons our students can go outside to Bethlehem and Ramallah to visit.

They can also visit the factories that we have in the West Bank.

For our students in Tawjihi, like A-Level, they have the possibility to visit the Palestinian universities and the Hebrew universities so as to have ideas. They will choose which university they will go to and continue their studies.

Paul: What is your prayer for the future of the school?

Saliba: I am looking to search every part in the school so we can use it in education. I am looking to give the best education to our students, especially in entering technology, and learning and teaching. We want our children to finish school with the best personality that they can have. This is what I am looking for. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.