King Fahd Academy

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King Fahd Academy
أكاديمية الملك فهد
2017-01-26 Bonn-Bad Godesberg Koenig-Fahd-Akademie.JPG
type of school School abroad
founding 1995
closure 2017
place Bonn
country North Rhine-Westphalia
Country Germany
Coordinates 50 ° 40 ′ 0 "  N , 7 ° 10 ′ 29"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 40 ′ 0 "  N , 7 ° 10 ′ 29"  E
carrier König Fahad Akademie non-profit school support company
student 150 (as of 2016)
management Ibrahim Al-Megren

The King Fahd Academy ( Arabic أكاديمية الملك فهد, DMG Akādīmiyyat al-Malik Fahd ), named after Fahd ibn Abd al-Aziz , was a school with 170 students in Lannesdorf , a district of the Bonn district of Bad Godesberg . The academy, financed by Saudi Arabia , was founded for children living in Germany only temporarily. A mosque is attached to the academy and offers space for several hundred believers to pray. Ibrahim Al-Megren has been the head of the school since 2011. The academy was closed at the end of the 2016/2017 school year on June 30, 2017 and is for sale.

Aerial photograph (2013)


In Bonn there was already an Arab school before the construction of the König-Fahd-Akademie, which was attended by around 400 students (as of 1994) and was spread over two locations in Bad Godesberg and Oberbachem (municipality of Wachtberg ). At the end of the 1980s, the initiative to build a new facility came from the ranks of the pupils, parents and the school's development association. The realization of the plans was delayed, among other things, by the Gulf War (1991). Originally limited to the construction of a new school, the project had already taken on larger dimensions at the beginning of 1994 - twice as much in terms of costs at almost 30 million D-Marks - and included the construction of a cultural and educational facility, the third after Washington, DC and London "King Fahd Academy". The city of Bonn made the property with an area of ​​5,000 m² available to the association for the foundation of the school, initially on a long lease ; in 1994 it was acquired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If the building is no longer used as a school and is sold, the city has a contractually agreed right of repurchase. The new building was based on a design by the Bonn architect Klaus Bierikoven. Construction began in April 1994, with the official laying of the foundation stone on June 15 of that year. At the beginning of June 1995 the new building was completed and handed over to the Saudi Arabian embassy . The opening ceremony of the König-Fahd-Akademie took place on September 15, 1995 in the presence of the then Federal Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel ( FDP ), the then North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Johannes Rau ( SPD ), the Bonn Lord Mayor Bärbel Dieckmann and the Saudi Prince Abd al- Aziz ben Fahd.

The König-Fahd-Akademie taught according to the Saudi curriculum in twelve grades. The academy, run as a non-profit company , was not legally subject to German school supervision and was not based on German curricula. The sole shareholder was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Until 2004 the school gave eight hours of religion, six hours of Arabic and one hour of German. From 2008, German lessons were extended to up to seven hours per week.

The government of Saudi Arabia justified the closure of the academy at the end of the 2016/2017 school year with the high quality of the German education system. According to other sources, the deficit in the state budget was decisive for the closure of the Godesberg school and for the construction of a comparable school in Berlin-Charlottenburg to be stopped .

Connections to Islamist circles

The academy hit the headlines across Germany because of the allegation that it had connections to Islamist circles. On the basis of allegations that went back to a contribution by the television magazine Panorama and alleged connections between the school and Islamist circles, the academy was supposed to be closed in 2003 on the initiative of the district government . In autumn 2003 it became known that during Friday prayers in the mosque of the Fahd Academy a call for a “holy war” against non-Muslims had been called. After negotiations between the then Cologne District President Jürgen Roters and the Embassy of Saudi Arabia , the continuation of the school operation was approved subject to conditions.

Saeed A. Al-Refaee, who has been running the school in Bad Godesberg since October 2004, admitted in May 2005 that “things have happened that are not in accordance with the goals of the academy”. There have been people who thought they could abuse the structure of the school for their own purposes. "A process of destruction was set in motion with the aim of taking over the academy," said Al-Refaee.

In the same interview, the school management announced the increase in the number of hours a week in German and the introduction of social studies lessons coordinated with the school authorities. Al-Rafaee rejected criticism of the content of the Saudi Arabian textbooks used in the school. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had previously published translations from, among other things, a reader for the seventh grade, in which Judaism and Christianity are devalued and those are highlighted as role models “to whom it is granted to die in God's path […] and them [the fighters] will also be happy to find out what rewards and pardons Allah has in store for the mujahideen who are still alive. "

At a rally of the right-wing extremist Pro NRW party in front of the König-Fahd-Akademie on May 5, 2012, two Salafist police officers were stabbed seriously and 24 were injured lightly. Members of the party had provoked radical Salafists with cartoons of Mohammed. The police had separated the two extremist groups.

Branch in Berlin

When the Saudi Arabian embassy moved to Berlin in 2000, another Saudi Arabian school was opened in Berlin-Tiergarten for around fifty students. This should primarily be open to the children of the members of Arab embassies, but also to other students.

In 2004 the school moved to an office building in Berlin-Westend, which was converted for 100 students. The König-Fahd-Akademie is classified in Berlin as a so-called supplementary school, which children of compulsory schooling in Germany are only allowed to attend with an exemption from general compulsory schooling. As a rule, Berlin authorities and courts refused to grant such exemptions in favor of visiting the König-Fahd-Akademie. In 2009 it became known that the Berlin König-Fahd-Akademie was looking for a plot of land for a large new school building for 400 students. In 2010 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia bought a suitable piece of land from the State of Berlin with a market value of 3.8 million euros for 2.9 million euros. The estate of 900,000 euros is declared with a twenty-year restriction on use as school property, which, among other things, excludes use as a mosque. According to Berlin politicians, the controversial sale came about under “diplomatic pressure” from the Foreign Ministry.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu: Ibrahim Al Musnad: "I see us as an active part of society". Bonner General-Anzeiger , June 19, 2008, archived from the original on June 21, 2008 ; accessed on August 29, 2016 .
  2. ^ A b Frank Vallender, Silke Elbern: King Fahad Academy in Bad Godesberg: Saudis close their school . General-Anzeiger , August 28, 2016, accessed on August 29, 2016.
  3. ^ A b Philipp Königs: König-Fahad-Akademie: School only closes after the end of the school year . General-Anzeiger , August 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Catholic News Agency, June 29, 2017.
  5. Ayla Jacob: Saudi Arabia offers real estate - König-Fahd-Akademie in Bad Godesberg is for sale . General-Anzeiger , July 29, 2020, accessed on August 15, 2020.
  6. ↑ The school property belongs to the Saudis . In: General-Anzeiger , Bonn city edition . September 2, 2016, p. 17 .
  7. Dream of the academy becomes reality. Saudi Arabian Embassy presented new building , General-Anzeiger , January 12, 1994, Bonn city edition, p. 10.
  8. Already a "pampered child". Foundation stone laid in the shell of the König-Fahd-Akademie , General-Anzeiger , June 16, 1994, Bonn city edition, p. 10.
  9. The minaret is already rising: the shell of the König-Fahd-Akademie is almost finished , General-Anzeiger , January 5, 1995, Bonner Stadtausgabe, p. 10.
  10. The magnificent building is still missing. The building of the König-Fahd-Akademie was officially handed over to the embassy , General-Anzeiger , June 7, 1995, Bonner Stadtausgabe, p. 9.
  11. Bridge between two cultures. The Fahad Academy will be officially opened on Friday , General-Anzeiger , September 14, 1995, Bonn city edition, p. 7.
  12. ^ Carsten Grün: End for König-Fahd-Akademie. Deutsche Welle , August 28, 2016, accessed on August 28, 2016 .
  13. ^ A b Uta Rasche: King Fahd Academy glorifies the fight against "infidels" . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 24, 2004.
  14. Saudis commission counter-reports. Bonner General-Anzeiger, May 17, 2005, archived from the original on July 31, 2012 ; accessed on August 29, 2016 .
  15. Meike Bruhns: Academy in Tiergarten: Saudis found school in Berlin . Berliner Zeitung , December 2, 1999, accessed on August 29, 2016.
  16. Brigitte Schmiemann, Hans Nibbrig: Saudi Arabian School planned . Berliner Morgenpost , May 29, 2004, accessed on August 29, 2016.
  17. Resolutions of the 3rd Chamber of the Berlin Administrative Court of January 6, 2005 - VG 3 A 909.04 - and of January 17, 2005 - VG 3 A 1210.04, Muslim school children are not allowed to attend the “König Fahd Academy”. Press release of the Berlin Administrative Court, January 21, 2005, archived from the original on July 23, 2012 ; accessed on August 29, 2016 .
  18. ^ Joachim Fahrun: Saudi Academy is negotiating the school location in Westend . Berliner Morgenpost , October 20, 2009, accessed on August 29, 2016.
  19. ↑ Sale of land: Saudi school planned in Westend . Der Tagesspiegel , May 5, 2010, accessed on August 29, 2016.

Web links

Commons : König-Fahd-Akademie  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files