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The Pinnacle of Palestinian Education: The Arab College (2)


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Staff and students of the Arab College at its new premises on Jabal al-Mukabbir, "the Mount of the Glorifier," south of Jerusalem, 1938. (This was the site from which the caliph Omar, on his way to Jerusalem to accept its capitulation from the Byzantines in A.D. 637, first caught a glimpse of the city, only to fall on his knees and glorify God.) Note the blazers of the students (standing) with the college badge, a falcon clutching an inkhorn. Standing first left, last row, is Jabra Jabra (later a graduate in English literature from Cambridge University), poet and author of many works of literary criticism and fiction including the novel Hunters in a Narrow Street (London: Heineman, 1960), as well as translator into Arabic of several plays by Shakespeare. Seated among the faculty (fourth left) is Wasfi Arafat from Nablus (Mathematics, London University). Next to him (fifth left) is Izhak Musa Husseini from Jerusalem (School of Oriental Studies, London University), author of several works on Islamic and Arab history in addition to The Diaries of a Hen, an Orwellian work of fiction satirizing the plight of the Palestinians under the Mandate.