New England-style prep school coming to Madaba

Since my exodus, it seems things are getting pretty exciting in my hometown of Madaba. According to this story in The New York Times:

Deerfield Academy, with its brick buildings, blazing maples, jacket and tie requirements and powerful graduates, is the quintessential New England boarding school. Soon, it will see its reflection in an unlikely place, outside Madaba, Jordan. Deerfield officials are helping to establish King’s Academy, the Middle East’s first coeducational boarding school, at the request of King Abdullah II of Jordan, who graduated from Deerfield in 1980.

"The idea is to transfer the American-style boarding school to Jordan," said Safwan Masri, a professor at Columbia Business School and chairman of the new academy’s board. "We want to bring the best of American education and create a school like no other in the region, one focused on preparing leaders, both men and women, in the public and private sectors." Construction started in 2004, and the academy is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. Faculty members will be hired in the coming months.

I think this is quite exciting although I’m not sure how well the "coeducational" aspect of it will be received.

11 thoughts on “New England-style prep school coming to Madaba”

  1. Fascinating! It will be quite an experiment. I found this bit quite interesting as well:

    To that end, all freshmen will be required to take a year of religion, at least one semester of which will be centered on Islam. The customary junior-year course in American history will be replaced with Middle Eastern history. Koranic studies will be offered to juniors and seniors, and Arabic, while not required, will be offered to all students.

    The school will also have an interreligious King Abdullah Spiritual Center, which, Dr. Widmer said, will actively recruit Israelis.

    That last paragraph is bound to raise some eyebrows … or more. But it seems like a tremendous initiative. I think they are trying to create a school for future leaders, leaders that will be capable of bringing the cultural tapestry of the Middle East forward in the face of a considerable number of forces interested in taking it backward.

  2. إنني ومن على هذا المنبر أطالب الحكومة ببناء مدرسة على شاكلة كلية إيتون في مدينة الكرك

  3. إنني ومن على هذا المنبر أطالب الحكومة ببناء مدرسة على شاكلة كلية إيتون في مدينة الكرك

    loooool hell yeah!
    anyways, yet another private school for a population where the overwhelming majority can’t afford it and those that can will do anything to get their kids into a school practically “sponsered” by the King.
    Enough with the private schools, how about opening more public schools. better yet, how about paying to make them better? How about increasing teacher wages? How about reviewing a failing educational system? How about 100 more ideas I and any Jordanian can think of at the top of their heads to better invest money in Jordan’s education?
    I don’t care whose picking up the tab on this one (but I don’t need to guess), focus should be turned to the public and not the private sector.
    As for what Hareega said with regards to Madaba. Yes it has lagged and it will probably continue to lag behind for some years to come. Amman is expanding in its direction but it seems the first stop will be Marj il Hamam. They should focus on promoting the historical and christian sites in the town, you don’t hear much about them in the tourism circles when they should be right up there with everything else.

  4. Balash roughly translates to “without.” It’s not a putdown per se, just simply a statement that it’d be a better situation “without” than “with.” At least that’s my reading.

  5. PalestinianJew

    brilliant idea!! keep the rich in Jordan richer..and the poor ..poorer…so you can have more of those beggars who attack your cars begging for money making you feel better and better about yourself…!!!
    perfect plan!!

  6. PalestinianJew

    What does “balash” mean? I assume it’s a put-down.
    Posted by: israeli
    Why so paranoid?? Feel like maybey you might have caused someone to want to say bad things about you??

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