A celebration recently marked the completion of the first phase of a project to renovate the Terra Sancta School in Jerusalem. The project, the result of collaboration between the European Union and the Custody of the Holy Land, began in 2017 and is estimated to conclude in three years. While there is still much work to be done, excitement is running high at the school in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Lana Rabadi, an engineer on the project, shared, “This project started in January 2017 and it will last three years. Its objective is to renovate and to restructure the school and – God willing – to set up new facilities over the next three years. In addition to the renovation work, the project aims to contribute to the development of skills for teachers and students.”
“We built an entrance that offers teachers a place to meet parents and students," Rabadi added. "We also completed the renovation of the library. We created a Technology Lab, a Resource Room, and a Children's Education Center. We were also able to make improvements to the theater and to the first floor.”
As a part of the celebration, students from the school set up a scientific exhibition, with sections highlighting chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology. Student Mohammed Salameh explained the science project that he and fellow student Mahmoud Abu Qadous were exhibiting as part of the event: "We will carry out an experiment to filter the dirty water in order to obtain clean water that will be useful for irrigation.”
Notable attendees of the event included the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, the Italian Consul General in Jerusalem, Fabio Sokolovic, and representatives of the Ministry of Education. Along with all those who attended the event, they had the opportunity to take part in cultural and artistic activities and to take a tour of the restored areas.
Br. Ibrahim Faltas, OFM, Head of Schools – Custody of the Holy Land, stated, “Obviously, restoration work is important, but the most important thing is the collaboration between teachers and students in the preparation of this great project. I believe they managed to offer something beautiful to this Holy City, Jerusalem, in which we find ourselves experiencing difficulties and challenges on a daily basis.”