Lebanese school set to open in Rio de Janeiro

06 de julho de 2016

São Paulo – The Consulate General of Lebanon in Rio de Janeiro will open the Lebanese School, a multilingual educational institution set to operate at the consulate`s own building in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Classes start on September 5 and enrollment is ongoing. The school will offer three education levels, from kindergarten to high school. The students will have classes in Portuguese, Arabic, English and French.

The initiative to create the school came from Lebanon`s consul general in Rio de Janeiro, Ziad Itani. “We wanted to offer the community the opportunity to learn Arabic and the Lebanese culture. Many people in the Lebanese community wanted us to have cultural institutions. I realized that we needed to preserve the culture and language”, he said.

According to the diplomat, besides offering an education for the descendants of Lebanese that live in the city, the school will facilitate the red tape proceedings for those that decide to study in Lebanon later. “People from the community that had children studying in Brazilian schools and planned to send them to Lebanon would spend up to a year preparing all the paperwork”, he said.

The curriculum of the Lebanese School in Rio de Janeiro was approved by both Lebanon`s and Brazil`s Ministries of Education. This way, when the students of the institution receive their diplomas, they will be automatically validated for Lebanon.

The school will begin by offering only the preschool levels, with kindergarten 1, 2 and 3. In this period, children will have classes in Portuguese and Arabic. The other levels will be offered later. The idea is to add one or two levels each year, depending on the demand.

“Arabic begins at the first level. We want the kids to listen to stories, to talk during recess. Up to nine or ten years old, children have an enormous ability for language”, says Kátia Chalita, director of the Arabic Department of the Lebanese School.

Initially, the facilities will be at the consulate`s building, but the institution`s board has a project for a new two-story building for the school. The new building will have 24 classrooms, a public library, an IT lab, a science lab and dormitories for visiting teachers.

Besides Arabic classes, the students will have classes on other subjects, also taught in Arabic, including storytelling, mathematics, Lebanon`s Geography, Lebanon`s History and Arts.

Starting on the elementary level, the parents will need to choose a third language for their children: English or French. Later on, in high school, the students will then have classes on biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics presented in the language selected. Students having classes presented in one of these languages will also have classes on the other language. “The Lebanese School has all the features of an international school. At the end of high school, the student will be prepared in four languages”, says Chalita.

Since it`s a school with ties to two countries, the Lebanese School will have two principals. Chalita will manage all that is related to the Lebanese curriculum. She has a major in Language at Rio de Janeiro`s Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) and is a former coordinator of the Language Department in the same university. She is also vice-president of the Brazil-Lebanon Culture Institute. Roberto Habib will be the principal of the school`s Brazilian Department. He has a major in Education and School Management and is a former principal of school Colégio Pedro II in Rio de Janeiro.  The pedagogical coordinator will be Muna Omran, who holds a doctorate in Literary History and Theory and a professor at the Fluminense Federal University (UFF).

For the students that enroll until September of this year, monthly fees will be BRL 1,250 (USD 378.73) until the end of 2017. For students that enroll only next year, monthly fees will be BRL 1,650 (USD 499.92).

The Lebanese School is also hiring teachers with majors in Arabic and secretaries.

Further information on the Lebanese School at
Contact via phone (55 21) 2539-2125 or email

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani