Ramallah Friends Schools
|The Friends School|
|Friends Boy's School, in 2011
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The Ramallah Friends Schools are two elite Private Schools founded by Quakers in the city of Ramallah, in the West Bank. The Friends Girls' School was inaugurated in 1869; the construction of the Friends Boy's School began in 1901 and opened in 1918. The Schools were run by American Quakers. The schools are now co-educational and divided into Senior and Junior sections; a Meeting House was built in 1910. The Swift Building, located in the upper School and named after Sara Swift of New England, was made the home of the Friends International Center in Ramallah after restoration work was completed. During the first world war the Boy's School was commandeered by Turkish troops for use as a hospital during Allenby's assault on Palestine.
The Friends Girls School was originally opened as “The Girls Training Home of Ramallah” and was renamed "Friends Girls School" in 1919. Elihu Grant was the Principal between 1901 and 1903. Both the Boys and Girls Friends Schools were designed and built by Dahoud Saah of Ramallah.
The Friends Schools offer, in both Arabic and English, various educational curricula. As of 2011, the Friends Schools only offer the IB curriculum, optionally IB-no exam for those who wish to take the American SAT examination, but will have to apply through the AMIDEAST as it is no longer provided to students. The schools used to offer local governmental examinations: ‘Tawjihi’. The school was certified to provide the IB curriculum in 2001 by the International Baccalaureate organization.
During the first Intifada the Friends School was closed by the Israeli authorities—as was the case with all schools in Ramallah—during the years of 1988 and 1989, but it was reopened after the intifada.
- Hanan Ashrawi, politician and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council
- Jaweed al-Ghussein, civil engineer and philanthropist
- Rami Kashou, fashion designer and first runner-up on Season 4 of Project Runway
- Serene Husseini Shahid, writer and historian of Palestinian arts and culture
- Farouk Shami, CEO of Farouk Systems, Inc., an American hair care products company; 2010 Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas in the United States
- Raja Shehadeh, attorney, author, and activist; founder of the human rights group Al-Haq
- The Untempered Wind: Forty Years in Palestine by Christina Jones, a teacher at the Friends' Boys' School in Ramallah
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