Praise be to Allah (SWT), and peace and blessings be upon the best of Creation, Muhammad (SAW), and on all his family and companions.
Al-Manar’s story began in September 2001, and its aim was to establish a productive generation that knows its language, understands its religion, and carries love and spreads goodness wherever it goes. Allah (SWT) has blessed me to be one of those who participated in the founding of this blessed establishment. The choice of ‘Al-Manar’, meaning ‘beacon’, as the school’s name reflects its aim to be a beacon of light to the sons and daughters of the Arabic language who left their lands, but will not leave their language.
Al-Manar continued on its journey through the years, acting as the soil in which the seeds of goodness were sown by many people, some of whom have left, and some of whom remain. The children of the Muslim community, both Arab and non-Arab, have joined together to form a school that has grown into a monument of educational excellence in Manchester, and is currently home to more than 450 students, including many whose mothers and fathers also graduated from the school and who now bring their children to this beacon of light, staying true to the saying that “We will not deny our children something good whose value we know.”
It was my honour to take responsibility for managing the first 10 years of the life of the school, which was full of developments and challenges. These developments included registering the school as an official examinations centre for GCSE and A Levels, and being awarded 14 out of 15 in the assessment of Manchester supplementary schools in 2005-2006. Our biggest challenge was when we left our original building at the request of the school’s new board. We couldn’t find a replacement building for two months until Al-Manar faced closure, but by the grace of Allah (SWT), and with the collaboration of the school community, we completed the move to Burnage Academy for boys building in January 2008, in which we find ourselves today.
I left the headteacher position in March 2011, and in November 2015 I returned again to accept what is an honour, challenge, and responsibility, all at the same time. With the collaboration of the school’s management, I set my target as developing every aspect of the school to see this beacon of light shine brighter, and become bigger and better.
By the grace of Allah (SWT), this year Al-Manar School has been widely recognised and honoured, and in particular the school made two very important achievements: firstly, winning the Gold Award for the second time, having won the award for the first time in 2013, as well as the Outstanding Award for excellence in the school’s performance; and secondly, registering the school as an official charity. We are proud of these achievements, and continue on our goal to be bigger and better, in line with our motto.
All thanks go to the founders at Al-Manar School, and all those who worked at the school and planted the seeds of success, seeds that will continue to grow as long as Al-Manar exists.
I extend special thanks to the previous headteacher Najah Rabah for her efforts to carry on the duties and responsibilities of this important establishment. We wish her all the best.
The most important and special thanks go to all the parents over the years for their struggles and sacrifices. Without their efforts, and their determination to encourage their children to study the Arabic language, Al-Manar School would never have been able to achieve its goals and overcome its challenges to become what it is today.
I cannot end without extending a few words of respect, appreciation, and gratitude for the sincere efforts of every one of Al-Manar’staff, each of whom has overcome their own difficulties to continue with us for many years, and who have become flag-bearers for Al-Manar.
I conclude these words of thanks with love and appreciation and prayer for all the students of Al-Manar, past and present, who enjoyed the fruit of their labour and recognised its value (even if after some time). I ask Allah (SWT) to ensure that Al-Manar School has made a positive contribution to their lives, and left a beautiful impression on their worlds that makes them remember the school and appreciate its message, just as we call on them to leave their own impressions on the children of Al-Manar today and to push the school forward from each of their respective fields.
May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and his family and companions, and all praise be to Allah (SWT).
Headteacher of Al-Manar Arabic School