Khalil Gibran International Academy

Trying to gauge parents perspective on the dual-arab language school set to open this fall in Brookyln — are folks for or against the new school?

4 Replies to “Khalil Gibran International Academy”

  1. I think most people are pretty neutral, they just don’t want to lose the facilities, music room, math space, art facilities, that make 282 a school worth going to.

    But I have to say, the concept is a little bizarre. On the face of it, it’ supposed to be open to anyone whether the are Arab or not but it seems a pretty clear attempt to provide a watered-down alternative to the private religious schools. As Munira Mirza, writing about this trend in Britain writes:
    “Like most people of their generation, young Muslims are confused about their identity and looking for a political vision to adhere to. Political parties need not fear this if they believe they have a political vision of their own to sell. But lacking confidence in their own ideas (if they have any at all), politicians have come to regard young Muslims as immovable; a group that is ‘at risk’ and needs to be managed by carrots and sticks – give them jobs, give them youth centres, give them Arabic lessons. The message seems to be: ‘Let’s send some nicer ones in to sort out the rotten few.’ ”

    And she goes on to write:

    Although it seems counterintuitive, the way to ‘deal’ with young Muslims may well be to stop ‘dealing’ with them. The short-term, obsessive focus on them seems to be precisely the thing that alienates them even further. A long-term focus on politics elsewhere might at least remind them that Islamism is not the only game in town.

  2. Who said anything about Muslims? Maybe I’m missing something but you should know that Khalil Gibran (after whom the school will be named) is Christian. Moreover, his work was spiritual but not religious. Maybe the debate over how we should treat “our Muslims” is a tad premature.

  3. I concur w/ Barry and am also a P.S.282 parent. There has never been an ideological opposition by parents to the content of the school and the principal of KGIA made it clear that the school would be centered around being ARAB not MUSLIM. Before KGIA was dropped from P.S.282 by the DOE many parents were concerned about the appearance of bigotry by opposing the school and anticipated that the media would most likely latch onto the “madrassa” angle rather than cover the real concerns of families and students which had to do with space and resources. Of course, the media came through like gangbusters and took the low-road- it’s much sexier “journalism” to push an “Neighborhood against Islam” take rather than the run-of-the-mill “our kids just need a good school without overcrowding” angle. Bravo to them (including the Times!?). I am quite surprised and annoyed by the “PS282 Parent” who broached the subject of Islam when discussing KGIA- for shame.

  4. It’s nearly impossible to avoid discussion of Islam when talking about a school centered around the Arabic language…seriously, to claim otherwise is simply liberal pussyfooting. I think the school’s a great idea but Islam is clearly “in the picture” and thus apt for discussion. Be real.

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