4/23/2005

The Lycée


The Lycée Francais School was established in 1930 by the Mission Laique Francaise (French Laic Mission). Its beautiful building on Baghdad Street was designed by French architect Victor Erlanger. In 1967, the school was nationalized, along with other private schools in Damascus and was renamed Lycée Al-Houriet (Freedom). In 1994, it was renamed Lycée Bassel Al-Assad, but it's still known among Damascenes simply as Al-Laique.

11 comments:

Milad said...

The building is very much similar to the Lycée Bab El Louk in Cairo. It is not a coincidence as both were established by the “Mission Laïque Française” and designed by Victor Erlanger. Lycée Bab El Louk was inaugurated by King Fouad on 4 April 1932.

Anonymous said...

i had a bad memory in it, i hate that school.
it was a place where teachers used to blackmail us, and oulad al mas'oolin were like cockroaches in it!
and some nouveau riche people, amd fake sick girls..

Firas said...

I should disagree with you, Anonymous. I spent in this school 12 years of my school life and still remember my best memories that I shared with many best friends inside these walls. This school graduated many of the finest successful Syrian professionals that are now inside and outside of Syria. From elementary to high school we had many excellent teachers (in addition to some horrible ones like all schools ofcourse). To generalize is telling a very distorted picture. There were some "ulad massouleen" whose actions irritated a lot of people indeed, but that never undermined the bond we had with this school. I always admired the oldstyle architecture that you don't see well in the picture after the renovation, and I still think it will remain as one of Damascus' important and very beautiful historical buildings.

Rami said...

What a beautiful building…
Some of its architectural details(windows) remind me of that of the post office (El-Barid) building in Aleppo, which I think was also built by the French.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed beautiful and home to a french managed library. Too bad that G. Abdul Nasser brought his ideas to Syria and nationalized the schools. Before him, those schools were homes of education, academic as well as physical and moral, cultural and societal.

Catherine said...

Very beautiful builing.It's so frustrating to see how all the new buildings are modern really ugly ones..It's killing Damascus soul somehow.
I wish more pepole ( or any at all!) would build their builings in the same old damascene / french stile.
I think that to be fair and true to the history this builing should have kept it's original name.

Assem Alfakir said...

I spent years in that school, starting from elementary and ending up in highschool, I loved everyday I went there, finest teachers on earth. I wish I can visit it someday, I have many pictures from those days, would love to be contacted by anyone from the class of 1985, I live in USA, the State of South Carolina, please get in touch, Assem Alfakir

Firas said...

Well I have mixed feelings about this place. My grandfather and father want there and I spent 15 years in this building (from kindergarten to Baccalaureat). surely some teachers were good and many were a lot better than others in other schools. However, there was indeed an invisible separation line between the children of the "officials", the children of the rich people and the rest of the folks. I was one of the latter. I was somehow happy but also not happy because of this segregation. Many people from my class (graduation 1986) became very influential and rich, many left the country as I did. I visited my hometown a few days ago and I went to have a look at the school. I always loved looking at its beautiful façade. I thought of entering to have a look at its courtyard but I changed my mind at the end.

samer said...

Salamat to all the laiique students who are proud to be graduated from this school.
Salamat to Assem Alfakir 1985
How are you , miss you so much (do you remember phil collins ...mama )

we sang so much together

Anonymous said...

But it was still a great school regardless...best childhood memories !

Anonymous said...

Look at kids of "officials" now..too bad the good kids got the hell away from the whole country..the place is a waste land..