Arab school opens on former minefield

Ibn-Rushad high school kicks off the school year with 600 male pupils.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
September 4, 2006 17:19
2 minute read.
jpost services and tools

jp.services2. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

In a highly symbolic move, a new Arab high school was inaugurated Monday on the southeastern rim of Jerusalem at the site of a former minefield used by the Jordanians during the 1967 Six Day War. The unusual site, which is located at the entrance to the east Jerusalem village of Sur Bahir opposite Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, had been off-limits to villagers for nearly four decades until the fields were cleared of hundreds of mines over the last year and half in a special project carried out by the Jerusalem Municipality and Education Ministry in coordination with the Ministry of Defense. "This is a place with symbolic significance with can serve as a true bridge between east and west...a bridge of peace and discussion," said Education Minister Professor Yuli Tamir at the festive inauguration ceremony. The NIS 30 million three-story, spanking-new Ibn-Rushad school, which opened this week, has 27 classrooms and a large basketball court. The school, which was constructed by the architect Zeev Baran and overlooks Bethlehem to the south and the center of Jerusalem to the north, is the third city school in the neighborhood, with a fourth still under construction. 600 male pupils are currently studying at the high-school, which runs from seventh through the twelfth grade, said school principal Khatib Ibrahim. The school is actually meant to serve as a girl's school, and the boys who are studying there now will move out next year when their new school which is being built just down the road is ready, he said. At the ceremony, which was attended by scores of village leaders and mukhtars, Tamir acknowledged that east Jerusalem was still lacking many classrooms, but added that the government was working to fill the gap. "For years, it was not decided what was happening with east Jerusalem," she said, adding that east Jerusalem pupils should receive "the same rights and the same treatment" of any school in the State of Israel. She noted that 6,000 classrooms were lacking in Israel, including 1,300 in east Jerusalem. The infrastructure work and city services in Jerusalem Arab villages lag far behind that of Jewish neighborhoods of the city, although, over the last decade, the municipality has done much to try and rectify this situation, specifically under the tenure of former Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert. "Education can give us... a better future of peace, tolerance, and unity," said Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski. "When you talk about the unity of Jerusalem, [municipal] activity for all its residents is at the basis of such unity," he said. Of the more than 220,000 pupils studying in Jerusalem schools during the last academic year, 46 percent were studying in haredi schools, 28% were studying in state secular and religious schools and 26% were studying in city-run Arab schools, according to statistics released last year by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. The pupils at the east Jerusalem school were clearly delighted with their new school, along with the visit of the VIP's. "We are so happy with the new school," said Fadhi Abu-Alfalit, 16, an eleventh grader. The teen took advantage of an encounter with the Education Minister under the camera lights to ask her to increase the amount Hebrew classes in the school from just once a week, which he said was insufficient, and for more computers in the computer lab. "We are living in the State of Israel," he said, adding, "we want peace."

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN