Collège Saint Joseph – Antoura

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The Main Court

Collège Saint Joseph Antoura
Principal Antoine Abou Moussa
Head of school Antoine Pièrre Nakad
Headteacher Antoine Abou Moussa
Average class size 32
Education system French & Lebanese Baccalaureate
Language French
School color(s) Red, Gold and Royal Blue
Nickname Antoura
Yearbook Palmarès
School fees 4800$ per annum

The Saint Joseph College in Aintoura, Lebanon, is the oldest francophone school in the Middle East. It was established in 1834 by the Lazarist priests. Today, its headmaster is Father Antoine-Pierre Nakad and it has 5500 students. It has more than eight buildings, with a campus, and is one of the top schools in Lebanon.

The school is known for the visit of French poet Alphonse de Lamartine, who wrote about the school and the town of Antoura.


As early as 1651, Cheikh Abou Nawfal Khazen asks the Jesuit Fathers to develop their mission on his lands in Antoura. In 1773,their company is suppressed. The Lazarists are given the mission to preach God's teaching. In 1834,The apostolic delegate, Monseigneur Auvergne encourages the transformation of the mission into a teaching college. The start of the College is quite modest,in October 1834,seven students enrol, thus forming the first secondary Francophile school in the Middle East. The college develops spectacularly, it's in 1874 that the central building surges, the Left wing is opened in 1884 and the big chapel is inaugurated in 1895. The tower is built in 1904, symbol of the school, it's seals the courtyard beautifully.

During WWI and the Armenian Genocide, the Lazarists were expelled by the Turks and the college was transformed into a Turkish orphanage where under the direction of Djemal Pasha and Halide Edip Adıvar, about 1,000 Armenian and 200 Kurdish children were forcefully Turkified.[1][2]

The college's will resurge in 1919, counting 350 Students. In 1936, The French Academy award the Grand Prix of French Language to the college. In 1970,a Basketball Court is constructed. In 1977, despite the Lebanese Civil War, the Kindergarten building is built. The Centre Lamartine, named after the illustrious French poet who visited the college,is a documentation center who is used by both students and teachers to push further their research. In 1982, the boarding school is completely suppressed.The college Then counts 2500 students. In 1994, the College is 160 years old.1996, the great chapel is 100 years old,it is completely restored. 2004, the Tower is 100 years old. The Saint Joseph Sports center is opened in 2006,it includes a semi-Olympic indoor pool, and diverse sport activities take place there.


The College Offers 15 years of schooling, starting with three years of Kindergarten, and 12 years of schooling (Grade 1 to 12). The school follows the Lebanese program,students in grade 9 pass the Brevet and grade 12 the baccalaureate (Scientific, Sociology-Economics and Humanities). The school as well offers to students the possibility of studying the French Baccalaureate and Lebanese as well, in a Double Baccalaureate intensive program.


The town of Antoura sits on a sloping hill overlooking the Mediterranean sea at an altitude ranging between 250 and 300m above sea level. The Town is bordered by Zouk Mikael and Zouk Mosbeh to the west, Hrash, Jeita and Ain el-Rihan to the east.[3]


Antoura derives from Syriac `aïn meaning "fountain" or "spring" and țoura meaning "mountain".[3]

Notable alumni[edit]

Official website[edit]



  1. ^ Robert Fisk: Living proof of the Armenian genocide. The Independent. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2013
  2. ^ S.D. Hunchakian Youth Visit St. Joseph Antoura French College. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2013
  3. ^ a b Hachem, Victor (2009). Antoura, de 1657 à nos jours - Une histoire du Liban. Antoura, Lebanon: Antoura. ISBN 9953-0-1189-3.