Ramallah Friends Schools

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The Friends School
File:Friends School.2.JPG
Friends Boy's School, in 2012
State of Palestine Ramallah
Type Private
Established 1869
Chairman Samer Shehadeh
Director Joyce Ajlouny
Gender Co-educational

The Ramallah Friends Schools are two private schools founded by Quakers in the city of Ramallah, in the West Bank.[1] The Friends Girls' School was inaugurated in 1869; the construction of the Friends Boys' School began in 1901 and the school opened in 1918.[2] The Schools were run by American Quakers.[3] 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.[4] During the First World War the Boys' School was commandeered by Turkish troops for use as a hospital during Allenby's assault on Palestine.[2]


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.[5]


The Friends Schools have offered, in both Arabic and English,[6] various educational curricula. As of 2011, they only offer the IB curriculum, optionally IB-no exam for those who wish to take the American SAT examination, but those students 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.[7]



The Lower School and kindergarten (Friends Girls' School) is located near the centre of the Old City of Ramallah.The girls' school is located at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. The upper School campus (Friends Boys' School) is located along al Nahdha Street, al-Bireh[8] The boys' school is located at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.

Swift House

The Friends International Center regularly hosts meetings with other NGOs such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and the Christian Peacemaker Teams.[9]

See also

  • The Untempered Wind: Forty Years in Palestine by Christina Jones, a teacher at the Friends' Boys' School in Ramallah


  1. M. Mukarram Ahmed, Muzaffar Husain Syed (2005) Encyclopaedia of Islam Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. ISBN 81-261-2339-7 p 249
  2. 2.0 2.1 Michael Dumper, Bruce E. Stanley and Janet L. Abu-Lughod (2007) Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia ABC-CLIO, ISBN 1-57607-919-8 p 310
  3. Manuela Marín and Randi Deguilhem (2002) Writing the Feminine: Women in Arab Sources I.B.Tauris, ISBN 1-86064-697-2 pp 59-60
  4. Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends Report on the Friends International Committee Consultation in Ramallah March 4 to 13, 2005
  5. Friends School Ramallah/al Bireh
  6. http://www.fum.org/worldmissions/ramallah.html
  7. John Daniel, World University Service, Frederick De Vlaming, Nigel Hartley (1993) Academic Freedom 2: A Human Rights Report Zed Books, ISBN 1-85649-219-2 p 81
  8. Frieds School Ramallah/al Bireh
  9. Ramallah Quakers Friends International Center in Ramallah January - February 2009 Newsletter (Vol. III No. 1)

External links