The Diaspora Potrezebe - Newsletter of the Alumni Association of the American Community School at Beirut, Lebanon.

Reports from ACS

by Catherine Bashshur, Head of School

Letter dated November 9, 1995

The first volume of the 1995-1996 Aleph Beth is hot off the press. We thought you might enjoy reading it. [Editor's note: We did; it's on the way to the ACS Archivist, Elizabeth West FitzHugh '43]. All is as well as one can expect. We are reaching the end of the first quarter for the upper school (the lower school has three marking periods).

Halloween was a huge success. Preschool through elementary had costume parades and parties. The upper school had two parties Halloween night -- on for grades 6-8; the other for 9-12. You can well imagine that the place was rocking. November 1st is All Saints' Day, a holiday in Lebanon.

We are enjoying the newly renovated upper school but still have finishing touches on which to work. In general, people are amazed that we were able to strip four floors to bare outer walls and columns, install a foundation and have the building opened and ready for use in two and a half months. All this just adds to our reputation as "super school." I credit the accomplishments to the energy and intelligence of a young staff.

Time passes so quickly when you are busy. It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Let me close with "Happy Thanksgiving" from all the students, faculty, and staff at ACS.

Letter dated November 16, 1995

We are all distressed with the development of property at Kameel's in the middle of the campus. First of all, having construction right next to the high school classrooms makes it extremely difficult for the students and teachers to concentrate.

The noise level is nerve-wracking. We worry about the walls collapsing and hurting someone. The land is still for sale, but they want $4,000,000 for 850 square meters of land. The lawyer has contacted inspectors to come to the site. Laws are very lenient here and favor the contractor. There are no zoning laws to speak of. It is extremely frustrating, but there is little we can do. The land is really only precious to us. Believe me, I do not know who would want to live in the middle of a school. I certainly would not if I were not working here -- we're noise day and night and weekends.

We have a very good faculty this year. The music program is up and running well -- finally. We have been struggling for years and it finally took off. Drama is blooming and art is flowering. Elayn Rifai, former art teacher, was here in summer and gave our teachers a two-day workshop.

The American Woman's Club is holding a Christmas Charity Bazaar at ACS on November 25th. They are providing a venue for Lebanese charity organizations to fund-raise. Most organizations have handicrafts to sell -- hope it is a success.

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