The Palestinian Quaker School That Survived 150 Years of War and Occupation

Ramallah Friends School was founded in 1869 by two Friends from New England, when Palestine was still under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, and eventually grew to two campuses in the neighboring cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh. QuakerSpeak recently conducted Zoom interviews with Rania Maayeh, the head of the school, and Omar Tesdell, the clerk of its board of trustees.

The school has carried on through decades of violence during the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and even at times been the target of attacks, but continues to thrive. “When it seems that hope is lost,” Omar says, “we try to provide a sanctuary where people can feel welcome [and] free, when outside the walls they are very much not free.”

2 thoughts on “The Palestinian Quaker School That Survived 150 Years of War and Occupation

  1. Having taught at the Ramallah Friends School and now returning with my wife annually as leaders of service-learning groups to Palestine and Israel, I am grateful for this offering to those who many not be familiar with the work of Friends in Palestine. I have witnessed the transformative work of the School and of the Friends meeting in Ramallah, even while both the school and the meeting are constantly under threat. Rania and Omar do incredible work under extremely trying circumstances. Thank you for giving them voice and calling attention to the need for support of Quaker education in Palestine and the spiritual community of the Quaker meeting there.

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